Last week several parts of France decided to ban the burkini – a swimsuit worn by Muslim women – as it was deemed to be “incompatible” with French values.
The French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls had said the piece of clothing “enslave[d] women” and rolled out the ban in Cannes, Corsica and Le Touquet.
Thierry Migoule, the head of Municipal Services in Cannes added further insult to injury:
[The ban is about] ostentatious clothing which refers to an allegiance to terrorist movements which are at war with us.
The move was met with widespread criticism, and people were quick to point out its absurdity:
One of the foremost sellers of burkinis is the website Ahiida, created by 38-year-old Aheda Zanetti.
The Lebanese-born designer, who lives in Australia, created several different lines which have sold in their thousands all over the world for the past eight years.
Speaking to indy100, Zanetti estimates that some 40 per cent of her clientele are not actually Muslim.
Almost half of burkini buyers aren't even Muslim.
Let that sink in.
Zanetti also told indy100:
The burkini swimsuit was never a type of swimsuit to symbolise a Muslim woman. I took away the traditional veil which did symbolise a Muslim woman, and replaced it with a hood type of top to blend in and integrate within Australian Culture and lifestyle. It was also meant to be worn by all women no matter what race, religion, shape, colour and for what ever reason.
Women have the choice to choose what they want to wear or not and I don’t think anyone should take this away from them.