Full-body 'burkini' swimwear bans expand in France

The French resort of Cannes has banned full-body, head-covering swimsuits from its beaches, citing security reasons — a measure some are decrying as a discriminatory anti-Muslim move that will only worsen religious tensions.

The French resort of Cannes has banned full-body, head-covering swimsuits from its beaches, citing security reasons — a measure some are decrying as a discriminatory anti-Muslim move that will only worsen religious tensions.

The ban on so-called "burkini" swimsuits, at the height of the French Riviera's vacation season, comes as France remains on edge after deadly attacks by Islamic extremists in nearby Nice and at a Catholic church in the country's northwest.

Cannes Mayor David Lisnard issued an ordinance in late July forbidding beachwear that doesn't respect "good morals and secularism" and called the burkini "the uniform of extremist Islamism, not of the Muslim religion." 

It notes that swimwear "manifesting religious affiliation in an ostentatious way, while France and its religious sites are currently the target of terrorist attacks, could create risks of trouble to public order."

The Cannes beach ban is just the latest of many French measures seen as singling out Islam, the country's second most popular religion, in the name of official secularism.

Last week, the mayor of a town outside Marseille banned a swimming day for women at a local park, citing a risk to public order because swimmers were required to cover up from chest to knee. The association Smile 13 organized the event for women, girls and boys, asking swimmers respect the Islamic notion of "awra," a reference to parts of the body to be hidden.

#burkini banned? Wear a wetsuit. Same thing, different name.

Article Full-body 'burkini' swimwear bans expand in France compiled by www.cbc.ca

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