Controversial burkini issue in France not finished yet

Supreme Court France must rule in controversial burkini issue

In 2016, we experienced some absurd situations in France. Especially in the seaside resorts in the south, we were surprised by certain situations where we were not allowed to stay in some places because we were not naked enough, and in other places we could not go into public buildings or tourist attractions because we were too naked.

In 2016, we also witnessed how decadent and inhumane French police forced certain women to undress in public. Such behaviour by the French police in public places was simply outrageous and should be unacceptable in a civilised society. Forcing a Muslim woman to undress is not fighting oppression. That IS Oppression!

It is not the first time that the burkini issue has been discussed. In 2016, the State Council overturned a ban on burkinis on public beaches.

It is known that in France a few years ago naked breasts and nearly naked bottoms were common views on the beaches of Southern France. How less clothing a woman has, she seems to be considered ‘chick’ and civilised, but if a woman shows up on a beach fully clothed rather than naked, some consider such a woman a barbarian and danger to society. Lots of French people seem to forget that direct sun rays are shown to cause skin cancer and that it is better to protect the skin at certain hours of the day.

Burkinis, a type of swimwear, had become controversial in France because some French see it as a religious expression that is not in line with the secular country France presents itself to be. Critics argue that allowing burkinis adjust rules to satisfy religious interests. But what we experienced ourselves on the beach was that Lady Gaga was allowed to swim in a burkini and the nuns in habits were also allowed to paddle, while I had to leave the beach with my Bermuda shorts, because that was too dressy, and Muslim women were not allowed to stay on the beach covered either.

Eric Piolle was facing the Council of State on Tuesday 14 June, as the institution decides whether or not to validate the suspension of the order authorising the burkini in Grenoble.

The 2022 vintage of the burkini controversy in Grenoble is coming to an end. After the intervention of a good part of the political class, the prefecture of Isère and the administrative court of Grenoble, it is the turn of the Council of State to consider the thorny issue. At the end of the two-hour hearing that took place on Tuesday 14 June, President Christophe Champety announced that the Council’s decision would be made in “the next few days, or even early next week”. The magistrate thus concluded an eventful hearing, reports France 3, during which Eric Piolle notably exhibited burkinis.

The mayor of Grenoble, who has made the burkini his hobbyhorse, also brought back a skirted swimming costume to explain that the new regulation accepts

“other swimming costumes with floating fabric”.

He was accompanied by the community association Alliance citoyenne, which has been campaigning for years in favour of the Islamic swimming costume. Before the Council of State, the latter’s lawyer, Me Spinosi, assured that the authorisation of the wearing of the burkini in municipal swimming pools was only a decision respecting

“the expression of everyone’s religious freedom”,

and presenting

“no risk of hygiene and safety”.

Because that is the total absurdity, that a burkini would bring the French people in danger! How do certain people come to consider that a covered body on a beach would be a sign of danger for the community? A burkini being a swimming garment in a swimming pool also does not bring a hygienic risk like swimming in bermudas could do because those latter ones are often also worn in daily life on the street, and as such could not be so clean.

Years ago, my children, the same as my grandchildren should have to do, in the middle of the day also had to have their body covered, protecting them for the sun rays. Today several companies offer swimsuits that reasonably well protect the skin from the dangerous sun rays. It would be ridiculous to prohibit such swimwear, in times when skin cancer has reached such high levels. By now, the French should know that too much sun is dangerous for their own body.

By the years, several companies have proven to be able to create beautiful modern swimwear that covers sufficiently the body to spend afternoons on the beach and in the water, without getting sunburn.

When the French are against the burkini, or full-body covering swimwear, because it would be Islamic, then that proves that they are racist and are against religious freedom, This is in contrast to their constitution which seeks to ensure that everyone should have complete freedom of opinion and action. In a modern democratic developed country, one would expect to find freedom of thought, freedom of expression, freedom of clothing, freedom of religion, and freedom of being yourself.

Not allowing certain costumes goes against the basic rule of the French constitution that is supposed to guarantee human freedom. Combating Islamic costumes shows intolerance towards a certain religion and its rules and opens the doors to combating other customs of other religious movements.

Christians are also expected to show love towards those who think differently and to be understanding and protective of them, but in France, it is not only non-religious French people who are against wearing a burkini. Christians in that country also show hatred towards Muslims and non-Christian religions or even against non-Catholic Christians. With the years there came another absurdity, namely people against naturalism, so not willing that people would be totally naked on the beach or in the water, so on one side demanding people to be covered, but when they cover the whole of their body they are against such covering. The question is then who decides the amount of coverage a person has to have and when is a person decent enough to come in public?

Supreme Court France must rule in controversial burkini issue
Women wearing burkinis. Photo EPA, Mohamed Messara

These days there is again the discussion going on about whether the burkini to be allowed or not. In the defence is said

“The burkini is a garment that is made for swimming,”

refuting the statements of Gérald Darmanin.

“The Ministry of the Interior defends the fact that there would be a risk of separatism simply by allowing the burkini to be worn in municipal swimming pools,”

the lawyer said, simply stating that

“this is not the case”.

But the lawyer also had to deal with the plea of Me Thiriez, lawyer for the League of International Women’s Rights.

“This ‘burkini in Grenoble’ operation is an operation that aims to promote radical Islamism by instrumentalising Muslim women,”

the lawyer castigated, hammering his attachment to

“equal rights and freedom for women.”

On 16 May, the Grenoble municipal council voted to authorise the burkini in its swimming pools – at the end of an already tense session. Subsequently, as France 3 recalls, it was the Isère prefecture which, on the orders of Gérald Darmanin, referred the matter to the Grenoble administrative court by way of a secular referendum. The latter then suspended the municipal order, before the town hall lodged an appeal with the Council of State.

On Tuesday, the State Council discussed several pictures of different types of swimwear. The mayor of Grenoble and his lawyer argued that the permission of burkinis in public swimming areas was a decision that respects “the expression of everyone’s religious freedom” and does not pose “health and safety risks.” Furthermore, the lawyer of Grenoble asserts that a burkini is comparable to headscarves worn in public.

Une femme en maillot intégral, en Turquie. La mode, courante dans le monde musulman, se répand en Occident. Photo © Sipa
A woman in a full-body swimming costume in Turkey. The fashion, common in the Muslim world, is spreading to the West. Photo © Sipa

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Preceding

  1. State of emergency and respect for human rights
  2. French authorities have shut down around 20 mosques and prayer halls
  3. Declaration of war against Islam and Christianity
  4. Is Europe going to become a dictatorial bastion
  5. Germany wanting to do something against racism

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Additional reading

  1. Declaration of war against Islam and Christianity (Our World)
  2. Women in France running with naked bosom all right but with covered bosom penalised
  3. On French beach French police forces woman to undress in public
  4. France and the Burkini
  5. Where’s the Outrage Over Nun Beachwear? – The Daily Beast
  6. You are what you wear
  7. At the closing hours of 2016 #2 Low but also highlights
  8. From Guestwriters 2016 in review
  9. 2016 in review Politics #1 Year of dissonance
  10. French showing to the whole world their fear and weakness
  11. Secularism in France becoming dangerous for freedom of religion
  12. Listening to the lessons of the Bible and looking for ways to please God
  13. Islamism Rises from Europe’s Secularism
  14. Does Banning Face Veils Help Us Fight Terrorism?
  15. Christians, secularism, morals and values

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Published by Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".

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