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France: What Is Hidden Behind the "Burkini Ban"
by Guy Millière
In Sisco, Corsica, on August 13, a group of Muslim men arrived on a beach in the company of women wearing "burkinis" (full-body bathing costumes). The Muslim men firmly asked the tourists on the beach to leave and posted signs saying "No Entry". When a few teenagers resisted, the Muslim men responded with a harpoon and baseball bats. The police intervened -- but it was just the beginning.
In the following days, on beaches all over France, Muslim men showed up, accompanied by women in burkinis, and asking beachgoers to leave. Tourists packed up and fled. Several mayors of seaside resorts decided to ban the bathing costume, and the "burkini ban" scandal was born.
Some politicians said that banning the burkini "stigmatized" Muslims and infringed on their "human rights" to wear whatever they liked. Other politicians, including Prime Minister Manuel Valls and former President Nicolas Sarkozy, called the burkini a "provocation", and asked for a law to ban it. The Council of State, the highest legal institution, eventually declared that banning the burkini was against the law; the ban was lifted.
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