The Short of It
Pictures of French policemen confronting a woman on a beach in Nice and forcing her to remove her clothing have caused a great deal of outrage and controversy. The officers were photographed enforcing the controversial "Burkini Ban" that has been implemented in several French towns.
**The Longer Version of It:
Images of the police officers emerged over the weekend after being posted on social media and depict the four policemen armed with handguns, batons and peppers spray towering over a woman and enforcing the "Burkini Ban" by having her remove her tunic in front of a crowd of beachgoers. In the pictures she appears to be issued a fine and warned about the beach's new dress codes.
The code narrows in on an unassuming swimsuit which consists of a hooded tunic and trousers and allows women to practice their Islamic traditions of modest dress. The suit covers a woman's entire body save for her face, hands and feet, but is still light enough to swim in. Think of a full-length wetsuit that has an attached hood, only looser and made of your average bathing suit material instead of neoprene.
The burkina ban is the most recent in a long line of actions by Parisian politicians to outlaw the wearing of religious garbs in public places. France became the first European country to ban the donning of burqas in public over five years ago in April 2011. Anyone who has broken the law since has faced fines of up to €150 (that's $205 US dollars) and or punishment of public service duties. The burkina ban in France, which was implemented in July 28 of this year, is temporary for now. The major's office of Canne says infringers can look forward to facing a fine of €38 (about $42).
Similar bans like these are popping up all across Europe as politicians and governments begin to favor restriction of traditional Islamic dress.
It might not be readily noticeable in the U.S. but plenty of people face legal restrictions on their public attire (think Free the Nipple Campaign or something less extreme like --- ). This ban outside of the U.S. is worlds more extreme and harmful. In fact many think it might be playing right into the hands of extremists looking for ammunition to target Western countries who they say vilify and act discriminatory towards Muslims. The strict pan not only puts an impediment on an entire religion it also strips women of a personal freedom, like swimming. No doubt these new laws will only spark more animosity to those who already feel unwelcome.
Check out the Mayor of Cannes' Ruling
• "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" •The infringement is punishable with a fine of €38 (£33) •The ban remains in place until 31 August 2016