Burkinis: unhygienic, terrorist wear – or just a wetsuit with a hood?

Corsica is the latest French region to ban the burkini. Pourquoi?

Name: The burkini.

Age: About 15 years old.

Appearance: Controversial.

Oh no. Is Nigella trying to make this A Thing again? Can she not just be happy with all the fine work she’s done for the pomegranate industry? No, it’s not her. It’s the French.

They’re trying to make it A Thing? That seems unusually tolerant of them. No, they’re trying not to make it A Thing. The mayor of Corsica has just become the third local leader this month to ban the burkini in his district.

Oh jeez – pourquoi? Continuez. Tensions have been heightened between the North African heritage/Muslim population and some of the locals for several months, and a few days ago a massive brawl broke out on a beach, leaving four injured, after a Muslim man objected to a Corsican youth taking a photo of his wife.

In a burkini? There has been no confirmation that burkinis were involved at any point.

But the mayor has banned burkinis as a result? Yes.

Um – again, pourquoi? According to the mayor of Villeneuve-Loubet, who has enacted a similar ban, swimming in a burkini is “unhygienic”.

That sounds un peu weak and unconvincing. The ruling for a similar ban in Cannes says: “Beachwear that 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.”

I feel we are creeping a little closer to the truth of the matter. Thierry Migoule, the head of Cannes municipal services, may get you there a little faster. He called the burkini “ostentatious clothing referring to an allegiance to terrorist movements that are at war with us”.

I see. So – burkinis are banned because all Muslims are terrorists? It’s just unhygienic in Villeneuve-Loubet.

Does anyone in supramayoral authority have anything to say about this? Because the Riviera is clearly going quite mad, quite fast. Laurence Rossignol, the minister for women’s rights, says the debate is being used for “ulterior motives”. She calls the burkini “profoundly archaic”, but says she “doesn’t want our society being ignited by these subjects”.

Well, that ought to solve everything. It should, shouldn’t it? It really should.

Do say: “It’s a wetsuit with a hood, not a terrorist rucksack.”

Don’t say: “Yes, we have no burkinis / We have no burkinis today. Because we’re racist.”

The GuardianTramp

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