The "burkini," a full-body swimsuit worn by Muslim women, has been banned in three French beach towns, including Cannes. Officials say the garment goes against France’s secular beliefs, and highlights religious divisions in a nation that's suffered horrific attacks by Islamist extremists. But critics say it's Islamophobia. #BanBurkinis or #DontBanBurkinis? Scroll down to learn more and VOTE!!
A burkini-related brawl broke out on a French island beach over the weekend in which five were injured. The Washington Post reported that the fracas "involved a dangerous combination of hatchets, harpoons and strong opinions on the garment choice of several sunbathers of North African descent." France banned clothing that covers the face in 2011. Many see burqas and burkinis as symbols of oppression—garments Muslim women are forced to wear in an authoritarian religious culture.
But arresting women for their clothing choices doesn't seem like the smartest way to heal the rift between France's Muslim population and its secular one. French authorities use women's rights as a reason for the ban—but aren't they just another authority telling women what they can and cannot wear?
If you're a fan of letting women wear what they want...why ban a piece of clothing? Maybe the French authorities would be better off if they stated openly they want to ban the burkini because it's a symbol of Islam.
Legal authorities targeting women for their beachwear is generally not a good look.
Many people don't like burqas or burkinis, but still argue that banning them will not be a fair or effective solution— it will just inflame the serious tensions between Muslim and secular French communities.
But others say secularists and liberals turn a blind eye to the oppression of women in Muslim-majority states, and that rules about women having to be covered in public at risk of punishment are part of that subjugation and need to be confronted.