The French ban on the ‘burkini‘ has reached new lows after police made a woman on a packed beach to remove her clothing.
Police armed with pepper spray and batons gave the order for the woman to strip off on Tuesday, warning her about the new dress code on the beach. She was then given an on-the-spot fine equivalent to $66 AUD. The woman had been minding her own business and appeared to have been sleeping on the packed beach when the policemen approached her. The woman, pictured below, technically wasn’t even wearing a burkini, but a headscarf and shirt that matched.
The burkini is a garment of clothing targeted towards Muslim women who want to cover up, but still be able to go swimming. It’s basically a t-shirt, leggings and a headscarf made for the beach.
Another woman, only known as Siam, was also targeted this week due to her decision to wear modest apparel on a beach near Cannes. She was given an on-the-spot fine in front of her family, and her details were taken by police. Siam was wearing a headscarf, leggings and a tunic – clothing that she felt both comfortable and protected from the sun in.
‘My children were crying as they witnessed my humiliation’ – Siam
Although these women have done nothing but decide to wear modest clothing, it seems that they are being punished for it. As Siam put it,
‘Today we are not allowed on the beach. Tomorrow, the street? Tomorrow, we’ll be forbidden from practicing our religion at all.’
Update: France’s highest administrative court has currently suspended bans on wearing burkinis, calling such laws a “serious and clearly illegal violation of fundamental freedoms”. The debate is not over yet however with several French politicians supporting a ban on the garment.