France is causing political and social turmoil following its crackdown on Muslims, first by banning the burka and most recently banning the Burkini.
Cannes was the first city to announce the prohibition, with mayor David Lisnar giving the following reason:
[Banning] beachwear ostentatiously showing a religious affiliation while France and places of religious significance are the target of terror attacks.
The issue gained international infamy on Tuesday following a photograph taken by local news in Nice which showed four armed men reportedly forcing a woman to remove her hijab.
The image, along other with reports of Muslim women being fined, became synonymous with France’s growing Islamophobia.Picture: Vantage News
Blogger Arnold Platon has created a map of all the areas where anti-Burkini municipal decrees are in effect:
There appears to be only 30 or so areas which have implemented the ban - however the growing trend of policing Muslim women on French beaches means the figure is worryingly high.
As bans were enforced along the Riviera, the Human Rights League and Collective Against Islamophobia in France took it to the State Council , arguing that it is a violation of human rights.
The State Council has since suspended the anti-Burkini law in Villeneuve- Loubet, which should set a precedent for all the other resorts who have attempted to implement the ban.
Lawyer Patrice Spinosi, representing the Human Rights League said:
It is a decision that is meant to set legal precedent. . . the mayors should withdraw these ordinances. If not, legal actions could be taken.
The three judges involved in the case called the ban a “serious and clearly illegal blow to fundamental liberties.”
The advocacy groups hope to abolish the ban completely by taking the case to Parliament.