Religion

French Court Right To Overturn Burkini Ban

| by Mark Jones
Waveson the shore of a beach in Villeneuve Loubet where the burkini ban was recently suspendedWaveson the shore of a beach in Villeneuve Loubet where the burkini ban was recently suspended

The French government is right to overturn the ban on burkinis.

A burkini is a full-length swimsuit worn mostly by Muslim women, according to CNN. The piece of clothing covers all parts of the woman’s body except for her face, hands, and feet.

On August 12, CNN reported that some of France’s most popular beaches had banned the garment in response to an increased number of terror attacks.  

Two devastating attacks shook the European country in July. First, 31 year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel allegedly killed 84 people after driving recklessly down a busy street in Nice. Not long after, a priest in Normandy was killed after attackers had taken five individuals as hostages, holding them in one of France’s Catholic Churches.

The initial ban on burkinis was meant to calm fears among French natives after the attacks. The law, however, had the opposite effect.

Human rights activists argue that the law merely increased “islamophobia” in France, according to CNN.

After French police officers forcibly asked a woman wearing a burkini to remove part of her swimsuit, Church of England priest Jenny Dawkins told CNN, “I find it quite chilling to see an image of a woman surrounded by men with guns being told to take her clothes off."

Simply stated, the French government cannot tell a woman how to dress in public. She is covered conservatively while wearing a burkini. The government has no right to punish a woman because she chooses to dress in a manner that reflects her culture.

Worldwide, the suspension of the burkini ban has been received positively.

Some leaders in France believe that the suspension will cause even more controversy. Conservative Villeneuve-Loubet Mayor Lionnel Luca told reporters, “Far from calming, this decision can only heighten passions and tensions, with the risk of trouble we wanted to avoid," the Associated Press reports.

From a human rights perspective, France had to suspend the ban. Overall, the suspension will decrease heightened attention to French fears, allow individuals to live more peacefully in the country, and smooth tensions between France and Middle Eastern countries.

Sources: Associated Press, CNN (2) (3) (4) / Photo credit: pascal/Flickr

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