Sunday 19 November 2017

Cannes bans 'burkinis' from beaches over terrorism fears

A burkini (stock image)
A burkini (stock image)

Tomás Heneghan

The French Riviera city of Cannes has banned religious full-body swimsuits known as ‘burkinis’ from the area’s beaches.

Following concerns over recent attacks in France, Mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard this week announced the ban, labelling the outfit as a “symbol of Islamic extremism”.

Under the new policy, introduced at the end of July, women will be prevented from wearing the outfit which imitates the traditional Islamic Burka.

The ban sets out that: “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 which it is necessary to prevent.”

Head of municipal services for the city, Thierry Migoule said of the new policy: “We are not talking about banning the wearing of religious symbols on the beach…but ostentatious clothing which refers to an allegiance to terrorist movements which are at war with us.”

Women wearing the controversial outfit at a beach in the city will first be asked to change their clothes or leave the area.

If they fail to comply with either a fine of €38 could be issued to them.

Traditional symbols from other religions will not be forbidden under the rule, which has also led the League of Human Rights in France to announce it intends to challenge the ban.

The move to ban the ‘burkini’ follows attacks throughout France in July, which left 85 dead in Nice and saw an elderly priest killed in northern France.

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