French policemen were seen asking a Muslim woman to remove her tunic on Tuesday on a beach in Nice, France, in accordance to the law that bans the use of burkini. Photographs of the incident soon caught the attention of Internet users who have expressed criticism over the recent bans enacted in towns across southern France.
Photographs show the authorities confronting a woman who was relaxing on Promenade des Anglais beach, which was where last month’s Bastille Day lorry attack occurred. The woman then removes her blue long-sleeved tunic while one policeman seems to be issuing a fine for violating the law. The woman’s ticket cites that she did not wear the appropriate clothes that respect good morals and secularism.
One of the witnesses, Mathilde Cousin, says the incident was a sad one. Apparently, other people were shouting “go home” to the woman while others applauded the police.
The ban was issued in July in Cannes. Anyone who violates the law is asked to pay a fine of $42. Last week, Leucate, which has a nude beach resort, also issued the ban.
Sara Silvestri, a professor of religion and politics at the City University London, says that the law is ineffective and only ostracizes Muslims more. The professor says that the Muslims feel unwelcome and marginalized, making them even more unwilling to integrate to society.
On the other hand, Ange-Pierre Vivoni, local Socialist mayor, says that the ban of such garments is crucial to protecting the population. This is only appropriate to prevent any public disorder after the jihadi attacks that France has been through.
Burkini could offend other people’s religious or non-religious convictions. Many will also see burkinis as a defiance or provocation that could worsen the tensions felt by the general community.
Many people have also expressed their support for the ban. According to Christian Estrosi, president of the Regional Council of Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, the French government must do everything necessary to fight against radical communitarian practices.
Meanwhile, the ban on burkinis encouraged non-Muslims and Muslims alike to buy the garment. Aheda Zanetti, the creator of the garment, reports a 200% increase in sales.