Cannes mayor bans burqinis on beaches

Cannes mayor bans burqinis on beaches

CANNES - Agence France-Presse
Cannes mayor bans burqinis on beaches

In this Aug.4 2016 file photo made from video, Nissrine Samali, 20, gets into the sea wearing traditional Islamic dress, in Marseille, southern France. AP photo

The mayor of Cannes has banned the wearing of burqinis, full-body swimsuits, on the beaches of the French Riviera resort famous for its annual film festival, officials said on Aug. 11.

Mayor David Lisnard signed off on the ruling that “access to beaches and for swimming is banned to anyone who does not have [bathing apparel] which respects good customs and secularism,” which is a founding principle of the French republic. “Beachwear which ostentatiously diplays religious affiliation, when France and places of worship are currently the target of terrorist attacks, is liable to create risks of disrupting public order [crowds, scuffles etc] which it is necessary to prevent,” it says.

Thierry Migoule, head of municipal services for the town, sought to clarify the ruling’s intent. “We are not talking about banning the wearing of religious symbols on the beach ... but ostentatious clothing which refers to an allegiance to terrorist movements which are at war with us,” he said.

On July 14 the nearby Riviera city of Nice was the target of an attack claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) which killed 85 people, when a truck ploughed into crowds celebrating the national holiday.
Islamic dress is a hot-button issue in France, where the full-face veil is banned in public places. But there is no ban on wearing religious symbols or clothing.

Migoule said that no burqini had been seen on any beach in Cannes since the ruling was signed into force on July 28.