Burkini ban: Let’s talk about how remarkable this French court’s ruling is

burkini ban

by Roqeebah Olaoniye

France’s highest administrative court, has just suspended the controversial ban on the burkini by a French Riviera town after it was challenged by rights groups.

bikini vs burkini
burkini vs bikini

In a judgement expected to set a precedent (side eye Nigerian courts and the NYSC hijab ban), the State Council ruled that local authorities could only restrict individual liberties if wearing the Islamic swimsuit was a “proven risk” to public order. The court finding that there was no such risk in the case before it, suspended the ban.

Police have fined Muslim women for wearing burkinis on beaches in several towns, including in the popular tourist resorts of Nice and Cannes, sparking controversy in France and abroad.  Villeneuve-Loubet is the French Riviera town where the case emanated is one of around 30 towns to have introduced the bans.

It is a whole other question where these bans stand in light of women’s rights and France’s claims to secularism. We welcome the suspension and hope that others will follow accordingly because France has been treading this path for while now being the first European country to ban the wearing of the Islamic face veil in public in 2010 and from the incident in the photographs in Nice, a 34-year-old mother of two told AFP on Tuesday she had been fined on the beach in the resort of Cannes wearing leggings, a tunic and a headscarf.

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