Australian in 'burkini' made to leave French beach - media

2016-09-19 16:14


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - An Australian Muslim woman who wore a burkini to a French beach said she was asked to leave despite a ban on the controversial full-bodied swimsuit recently being overturned.

Sydney-born Zeynab Alshelh, a 23-year-old medical student, told Australia's Channel 7 that she travelled to Europe to show solidarity with French Muslims by wearing a burkini - invented by an Australian designer - on the beach.

Footage broadcast Sunday evening showed local bathers make disparaging gestures towards Alshelh, who is sitting burkini-clad on the sand in Villeneuve-Loubet with her mother.

"We were threatened by locals to leave the beach and if we didn't they were going to call the police," Alshelh said.

"Even though it was on the beach that the burkini ban was overturned but the locals were not happy."

Nice and about 30 other French towns banned the Islamic swimsuit after a July terror attack in which a man ploughed his truck into crowds gathered for Bastille Day fireworks killing 86 people.

In August, France's highest court suspended the burkini bans declaring the swimsuit's prohibition an "illegal violation of fundamental freedoms".

Aheda Zanetti, the Australian woman who designed the burkini, recently expressed surprise at the furore over her creation, saying it was meant to be a symbol of inclusion and allow Muslim women to take part in beach culture.

But the seemingly innocuous item of clothing has continued to prove an emotive topic and opinion polls in fiercely secular France show burkini bans have the support of a majority of the public.

"It starts off at the beach and God knows where it ends," Zeynab added, saying that while there was racism in Australia there were no bans on clothing.

Australia is grappling with a rise in anti-Muslim sentiment after a series of attacks by radicalised youth and last week anti-immigration politician Pauline Hanson called for an end to Muslim immigration and a ban on the burqa.

Read more on:    australia  |  religion

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.