French court overturns burkini ban

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Photo credit Flickr. Artist Sarah Al

Summary: The highest French administrative court overturned a town’s burkini ban, which challenges bans in 30 other municipalities.

Read an excerpt of the New York Times story below:

“France’s highest administrative court on Friday overturned a town’s ban on burkinis, the full-body swimwear used by some Muslim women, setting a precedent that challenges similar bans in at least 30 other municipalities, most of them on the French Riviera.

“The burkini — and the decisions to ban wearing them on beaches — has become the focus of spirited global debates over women’s rights, assimilation and secularism.

“In its ruling, the court, known as the Council of State, found that the ban in the town of Villeneuve-Loubet violated civil liberties, including freedom of movement and religious freedom, and that officials had failed to show that the swimwear posed a threat to public order.

“The ruling also made clear that the bans in other municipalities could be similarly overturned, and the Socialist government seemed conflicted on how to respond.

“In a statement, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve suggested that it was time for the local officials to back down, saying it was now ‘up to each and every one to responsibly seek to ease tensions, which is the only way to avoid disturbances to public order and to bolster coexistence.’”

Source: The New York Times