Third French town bans beach 'burkinis'
Published 16/08/2016 | 02:30
The mayor of a Corsican village that was the scene of a massive brawl - apparently sparked by burkinis - between locals and youths of North African origin has banned the full-body swimsuits from nearby beaches.
The ban is the third to be introduced this summer in French towns, with the mayor of the glitzy Riviera resort of Cannes saying he would not allow "a uniform that is the symbol of Islamist extremism" to be worn on the beaches in his town.
Mayor Pierre-Ange Vivoni of Sisco, a small village in the north of Corsica, said that burkinis would be banned in the area from today.
The decision was made at a special council session held on Sunday to assess the situation after the beach brawl the day before in which five people were injured and several cars burned.
The burkini bans have sparked controversy as tensions have grown this summer between Muslims of North African origin and others in communities in the south of France, in particular after the massacre of 85 people in Nice a month ago by a Tunisian truck driver.
Supporters of the bans say the garment - which some Muslim women wear to meet with Islamic requirements to dress modestly in public - collides with French secular principles.
But anti-racism campaigners say that banning women from wearing it amounts to discrimination. Burkinis were the apparent cause of the brawl on a beach near Sisco on Saturday.
The village's mayor said that the incident started when a tourist took a photo of some young women wearing burkinis.
"And the Maghrebins (North Africans) didn't want to have their photos taken. It was quite a trivial matter to begin with," Mr Vivoni said. A hundred police officers were mobilised to break up the fight, which lasted for several hours. (© Daily Telegraph London)