The hurt and anger caused by French mayors' burkini bans


France’s Council of State will on Friday announce its judgment on whether the ban of the burkini, recently applied by a number of mayors of coastal towns in France, is legal. The bans, imposed mostly in south-east France and amid the backdrop of recent Islamist terrorist attacks, supposedly target the full-body swimwear worn by some Muslim women. But the prohibitions also exclude dress that might threaten “public order”, and there was uproar this week after several reported incidents of police patrols intercepting Muslim women wearing headscarves on the beach. Carine Fouteau analyses a controversy that not only encroaches basic human rights, but which also has played into the hands of the Islamic State group which was behind this summer's terrorist attacks in France.

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“Stop humiliating us, stop policing us, stop executing violence on our bodies,” read a Tweet from Sana Saeed, a California-based writer and video film producer and anti-Islamophobia activist, who appeared to sum up the exasperation of many women around the world at the recent and growing number of bans on the wearing of the burkini on French beaches. “Stop being so insecure with your identity that you see our mere existence as a threat to yours,” Saeed added.