Burkini and the Fight Over the Look in France

Muslim Women

Summary: The burkini, a swimwear option for Muslim women, has recently been banned in several places, and a wide variety of people have offered their thoughts.  

Sean O’Grady recently wrote an op-ed for The Independent detailing why white men like himself shouldn’t be banning clothing options for Muslim women. Read an excerpt of the piece below:

“Middle-aged white blokes making arbitrary decisions about what young Muslim women should wear at the seaside? Banning the so-called burkini? I’m not sure about that.

“I know all about the French devotion to laicite and all that, but still I really cannot understand why the mayors of two French municipalities, Cannes and Villeneuve-Loubet, have gone militant about the correct attire for frolicking in the Med.

“The man in Cannes, David Lisnard, says his concern is over ostentatious religious affiliation at a time of terrorism (quite a non seqitur). The other official, Lionnel Luca, cites ‘sanitary’ reasons – which is possibly more offensive and ludicrous.

“As a fellow middle-aged white bloke, I find it somewhat troubling that two of my kind reacted in this way. Whether it is truly a contemporary expression of the French tradition of secularism I cannot know. What I do know is that it is both wrong and counterproductive.

“I have no problem with middle-aged white blokes making all kinds of decisions, providing two things: first, they are there on merit and they are duly elected to make them, and second, that they keep their snouts out of other people’s private lives.”


Read the full story @ The Independent …


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