Deemed to be “incompatible” with French values, at least 16 coastal towns in France recently banned the burkini — the full-body Islamic swimsuit described by the fanatics as a symbol of Islamic extremism — on the beach and in public swimming pools. To impose the controversial ban, it seems the French police are given unrestricted power to forcibly take out the burkini from women relaxing on the beach, all in the name of country’s precious secularism.
Last week, four armed male French police officers forced a 34-year-old woman wearing a headscarf, a blue long-sleeved tunic, and leggings to remove her burkini at Nice’s Promenade des Anglais, the scene of last month’s Bastille Day lorry attack that claimed 86 lives. She was given a ticket for “not wearing an outfit respecting good morals and secularism“.
Nice is one of the 16 French towns that have barred clothing which “overtly manifests adherence to a religion at a time when France and places of worship are the target of terrorist attacks”.
“I was sitting on a beach with my family. I was wearing a classic headscarf. I had no intention of swimming,” Siam, a mother of two, told The Guardian.
“The saddest thing was that people were shouting ‘go home’, some were applauding the police. Her daughter was crying, “Mathilde Cousin, a witness to the scene, said confirming the incident.
After photographs of the unlawful act went viral on social media, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls defended the ban on burkinis saying France was locked in a “battle of cultures” and that “the full-body swimsuit symbolized the enslavement of women“. “We have to wage a determined fight against radical Islam, against these religious symbols which are filtering into public spaces,” Valls said in an interview on BFM-TV.