Cannes bans burkini-style swimsuits

The French resort of Cannes has banned full-body, head-covering swimsuits from its beaches, citing security reasons — a measure some have criticised as an anti-Muslim move that worsens religious tensions.

The ban on so-called burkinis comes as France remains on edge after Islamic extremist attacks on Nice and on a Catholic church in north-west France.

Cannes mayor David Lisnard issued an ordinance in late July forbidding beachwear that does not respect “good morals and secularism”.

It said swimwear “manifesting religious affiliation in an ostentatious way, while France and its religious sites are currently the target of terrorist attacks, could create risks of trouble to public order”.

A city official said the measure could apply to burkini-style swimsuits. Violators risk a €38 fine.

The mayor calls the burkini “the uniform of extremist Islamism, not of the Muslim religion”.

In an interview in Nice-Matin newspaper, he said the measure could also apply to saris worn by Indian bathers, because they could hamper rescuers’ efforts to save them in an emergency.

The ban is the latest of measures seen as singling out Islam, France’s second-biggest religion, in the name of official secularism.

Last week, the mayor of a town near Marseille banned a swimming day for women at a local park, citing a risk to public order because swimmers were required to cover up from chest to knee.

The association Smile 13 organised the event, asking swimmers to respect the Islamic notion of ‘awra’, a reference to parts of the body to be hidden.

French law forbids face-covering veils anywhere in public, and headscarves in public schools.

Proponents say the laws preserve secular values and protect women from religious oppression, but critics say they have deepened the religious divide.


We know porridge is one of the best ways to start the day but being virtuous day in, day out can be boring.The Shape I'm In: Food blogger Indy Power

Sheila O’Flanagan can’t pin down an exact number of books she has written.First lady of fiction: Sheila O'Flanagan is happy to be accessible

This might not be the most entertaining topic but it is that time of year when colds, flus and nasty bugs enter classrooms and homes.Mum's the Word: Top tips for keeping nasty bugs and illnesses at bay

Laura Whalen is a Munster-based dollmaker and mother-of-five, and the founder of the Bábóg project, a community crafting drive to make a commemorative doll for all the babies born in Irish mother and baby homes.Made in Munster: Meet the West Cork dollmaker who uses bio-degradable materials for her craft

More From The Irish Examiner