The burkini: Symbol of freedom or oppression?


France has been troubled by the burkini, a full body swimsuit for Muslim females.

Recent media coverage showed a Muslim woman forced to remove hers at a French beach.

After an initial burkini ban, a French high court overturned it. Despite that, mayors from 30 French towns along the Riviera are still enforcing it.

This isn't a new issue: in 2010 France wanted Muslims to be more integrated, so they banned the burqa and the full-face-covering niqab in public.

In 2014, the European Court of Human Rights upheld the ban.

Lebanese-Australian designer Aheda Zanetti says she created the burkini to stop Muslim children from missing out on swimming and sports activities.

But polls in France show two thirds of the population support the ban - including French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who says the burkini symbolises the enslavement of women.

So, while France grapples with whether to ban it or not, it seems the burkini will be a flashpoint for presidential campaigns in the upcoming election.


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