Controversial French ban on burkini’s lifted

2016-10-05 06:00

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AFTER the Nice terror attack huge controversy had broken out over the wearing of burkinis on beaches along the French Riviera with some mayors imposing bans on the wearing of burkini’s.

In the latest development, at the beginning of September, the city of Nice lifted the controversial ban in line with a national court ruling.

Nice is one of about 15 French towns which banned the wearing of the burkini – a full-body Islamic swimsuit which covers the head – on beaches, with authorities declaring it to contravene French secular values and threaten public order.

An angry debate over the ban was stoked at the end of August as images of a veiled woman surrounded by police on a beach in Nice went viral.

The series of photos published by British media showed a woman dressed in leggings, a tunic and headscarf lying on a beach surrounded by four police officers. At one point the woman removes her tunic – it is unclear if she was ordered to do so or did so of her own accord – while a policeman appears to write out a fine.

The photos, whose source is not clear, caused a furore on Twitter, where many interpreted them as the woman being forced to undress by police. Underneath the tunic, she was wearing a sleeveless top.

The Guardian reported that Aheda Zanetti, Australian burkini creator and manufacturer said “this negativity that is happening now and what is happening in France makes me so sad. I hope it’s not because of racism.

“I think they have misunderstood a garment that is so positive – it symbolises leisure, happiness, fun, fitness and health and now they are demanding women get off the beach and back into their kitchens?

“I would love to be in France to say this: you have misunderstood. And there are more problems in the world to worry about, why create more? You’ve taken a product that symbolised happiness and joyfulness and fitness, and turned it into a product of hatred.”

Zanetti invented the burkini in early 2004.

“My niece wanted to play netball but it was a bit of a struggle to get her in the team – she was wearing a hijab. My sister had to fight for her daughter to play, had to debate the issue and ask, why is this girl prevented from playing netball because of her modesty?

“When I invented the burkini in early 2004, it was to give women freedom, not to take it away.

“When I named it the burkini I didn’t really think it was a burqa for the beach. Burqa was just a word for me – I’d been brought up in Australia all my life, and I’d designed this swimsuit and I had to call it something quickly. It was the combination of two cultures – we’re Australians but we are also Muslim by choice.

“The burqa doesn’t symbolise anything here, and it’s not mentioned in the Qur’an and our religion does not ask us to cover our faces, it’s the wearer’s choice to do so,” said Zanetti.

“When I invented the burkini in early 2004, it was to give women freedom, not to take it away.

I would love to be in France to say this: you have misunderstood. And there more problems in the world to worry aboutm why create more?

You’ve taken a product that symbolised happiness and joyfulness and fitness, and turned it into a profduct of hatred.”

-Aheda Zanetti, Australian burkini creator and manufacturer.

An angry debate over a ban on burkinis in France was stoked at the end of August as images of a veiled woman surrounded by police on a beach in Nice went viral.The series of photos published by British media showed a woman dressed in leggings, a tunic and headscarf lying on a beach surrounded by four police officers. At one point the woman removes her tunic - it is unclear if she was ordered to do so or did so of her own accord - while a policeman appears to write out a fine.The photos, whose source is not clear, caused a furore on Twitter, where many interpreted them as the woman being forced to undress by police.Underneath the tunic, she was wearing a sleeveless top.

The Guardian reported that Aheda Zanetti, Australian burkini creator and manufacturer said “this negativity that is happening now and what is happening in France makes me so sad. I hope it’s not because of racism.

“I think they have misunderstood a garment that is so positive – it symbolises leisure and happiness and fun and fitness and health and now they are demanding women get off the beach and back into their kitchens?...

“I would love to be in France to say this: you have misunderstood. And there more problems in the world to worry about, why create more? You’ve taken a product that symbolised happiness and joyfulness and fitness, and turned it into a product of hatred.

Zanetti invented the burkini in early 2004 “to give women freedom, not to take it away”.

“My niece wanted to play netball but it was a bit of a struggle to get her in the team – she was wearing a hijab. My sister had to fight for her daughter to play, had to debate the issue and ask, why is this girl prevented from playing netball because of her modesty?

“When I named it the burkini I didn’t really think it was a burqa for the beach. Burqa was just a word for me – I’d been brought up in Australia all my life, and I’d designed this swimsuit and I had to call it something quickly. It was the combination of two cultures – we’re Australians but we are also Muslim by choice. The burqa doesn’t symbolise anything here, and it’s not mentioned in the Qur’an and our religion does not ask us to cover our faces, it’s the wearer’s choice to do so,” said Zanetti.

(Sources: News24/AFP/www.theguardian.com)

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