Chances are you’ve heard about this burkini ban mishegas going on in France. Recently, photographs swirling around online show armed French police officers confronting a woman in a burkini on a beach and making her remove some of her clothing. Really.
Why the ban in the first place? Several French towns have incorporated the ban on the burkini, which is a bathing suit that covers the body and head, because of concern about religious clothing due to the recent terrorist attacks in the country. Nice banned the burkini because it “overtly manifests adherence to a religion at a time when France and places of worship are the target of terrorist attacks.”
The Nice ban refers specifically to the truck attack in July that claimed 86 lives, as well as the murder 12 days later of a Catholic priest near the northern city of Rouen.
The images making headlines today show at least four police officers confronting a woman sitting on the beach at Nice’s Promenade des Anglais, which is where the July attack occurred. She appears to be taking off a blue long-sleeved shirt.
Siam, the 34-year-old mom of two, said she had also been fined on the beach in nearby Cannes for wearing leggings, a tunic, and a headscarf, explaining:
“I was sitting on a beach with my family. I was wearing a classic headscarf. I had no intention of swimming.”
Mathilde Cousin, a bystander, confirmed what happened, adding:
“The saddest thing was that people were shouting ‘go home’, some were applauding the police. Her daughter was crying.”
The Nice tribunal ruled this past Monday that the ban was a “necessary, appropriate and proportionate” action, and that the clothing is “liable to offend the religious convictions or (religious) non-convictions of other users of the beach.”
Um, what? When did banning what people wear become a normal occurrence? Especially when that clothing isn’t offensive in any way (in that it doesn’t contain derogatory language, symbols, etc.) nor can be deemed as “lewd.”
This, of course, doesn’t even take into account the fact that there is such a thing as religious freedom–and that terrorist groups (based out of any religion) are participating out of extremism, thus outside of said religious group.
Women should be able to dress however they’d like for a day at the beach. It seems pretty logical to me.