Burkinis… no that is not a made up word. Burkinis are full body Burka swimsuits. It allows the women of Islamic faith to keep the tradition of keeping their body covered while being able to enjoy the joys of the beach and the water. However, the mayor of Cannes, France has outlawed them.
David Lisnard claimed that the Burkas, and Burkinis, are a “symbol of Islamic extremism,” and could invoke violence. Since, France has, as of late, been the target of Islamic attacks, the country remains on high alert. Which could account for the caution of allowing Burkinis on the beach.
They are taking them so seriously that anyone caught wearing one on the beach will be fined 38 Euros. Of course, they first would be asked to change into a different swimsuit, or leave the beach.
Since the verdict was passed in July, no one has been apprehended for wearing one.
France has been known to ban woman’s clothing from time to time. Back in 2011, France became the first country in Europe to ban the full-face Islamic veil (or the Burka). They also banned the partial face covering wardrobe, known as the Niqab.
A private waterpark near Marseille, recently cancelled a Burkinis-only day after massive amounts of criticisms were received.
The actual ruling states, “Access to beaches and for swimming is banned to any person wearing improper clothes that are not respectful of good morals and secularism. Beachwear which ostentatiously displays religious affiliation, when France and places of worship are currently the target of terrorist attacks, is liable to create risks of disrupting public order.”
There is a problem, however, with the ban. There is no law in France that prohibits a person from wearing a full body swimsuit. There is a law that bans the wearing of any wardrobe that covers the face (for example the Islamic full-face veil. Yet, the Burkini does not cover the face. In a sense, it’s like a wetsuit. So technically, the wearing of a Burkini, as of yet, is not illegal.
The government of Cannes has announced that the skull cap for the Jewish faith will still be permitted, as well as crosses, and even the hair veil for the Islamic faith, just not the full-face veil.
The League of Human Rights has already come forward and stated that they will challenge the ban in court.