A 21-year old bikini-clad woman was sunbathing in a park in France when a group of young women allegedly beat her up for her “immoral” attire, causing outrage on social media that many have likened to the JeSuisCharlie campaign.
Police say that on July 22, five women, aged between 16 and 24, approached Angelique Sloss in the park in Reims, France, and berated her for wearing so little clothing in public. When Sloss responded, the girls began slapping and punching her, Daily Mail reported.
Bystanders intervened and stopped the attack, but not before they severely bruised Sloss, who has been unable to return to work since the incident.
Police quickly found and apprehended the girls, who have been identified as Ines Nouri, Zohra Karim, Hadoune Tadjouri, and two unnamed minors.
“It was a fight between young girls which degenerated after one of the authors of the aggression said, ‘Get dressed, it’s not summer,’” said Police Superintendent Julie Galisson, who is investigating the altercation.
“One of those arrested would not leave her alone and this degenerated into violence,” Galisson added.
French police said the attackers came from primarily Muslim areas, although the officials have said that the attack had “absolutely nothing to do with religion.”
"We have to be very careful not to jump to conclusions,” Arnaud Robinet, the mayor of Reims, said. “All the same, I can understand why people have assumed that this attack had religious motives. If that turns out to be the case, it is a very serious incident.”
Following the incident, the French public rallied in the Reims park. Many of the protesters wore bikinis despite the cold weather, insisting on their right to wear them, noted Breitbart.com.
Hundreds of French women posted pictures of themselves wearing bikinis on social media with the hashtag #JePorteMonMaillotAuParc, which translates to “I wear my swimsuit in the park.”
According to the Daily Mail, some have compared this attack’s social media reaction to the JeSuisCharlie campaign after the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris in January, which focused a spotlight on radical Islam, an issue many of the liberal French population consider a threat to their national identity.
Photo credit: Aurore Berge/Twitter, Helen TriantafillosTwitter