France’s Burkini Bigotry

After bans on full-face veils, head scarves in schools and rules about students’ skirt lengths, France’s perennial problem with Muslim women’s attire has taken its most farcical turn yet with a new controversy over the “burkini,” body-covering swimwear whose name is an amalgam of burqa and bikini. As of Thursday, five French mayors had banned the burkini, calling it, variously, a threat to public order, hygiene, water safety and morality, tantamount to a new weapon of war against the French republic. Thierry Migoule, an official with the city of Cannes, the first to ban the burkini, declared the swimwear “clothing that conveys an allegiance to the terrorist movements that are waging war against us.”

This hysteria threatens to further stigmatize and marginalize France’s Muslims at a time when the country is listing to the Islamophobic right in the wake of a series of horrific terrorist attacks. And with presidential elections scheduled for next spring and the right-wing National Front’s popularity on the rise, French officials and politicians have leapt to support the mayors.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Wednesday called the burkini a symptom of “the enslavement of women” that “is not compatible with the values of France” and said “the nation must defend itself.” France’s women’s rights minister, Laurence Rossignol, declared the burkini“the beach version of the burqa” and said “it has the same logic: Hide women’s bodies in order to better control them.”

Tell that to the creator of the burkini, the Australian designer Aheda Zanetti, who coined the name for a line of swimwear she introduced to offer women who did not want to expose their bodies — for whatever reason — the freedom to enjoy water sports and the beach. The British chef and television star Nigella Lawson wore a burkini on an Australian beach in 2011, presumably of her own free will. Meanwhile, the world has watched Muslims proudly compete at the Olympics in Rio in body-covering sportswear.

The fact that French parents are increasingly dressing their toddlers in remarkably similar suits to protect them from the sun, or that a wet suit also covers the head and body, adds to the hypocrisy of this debate. But at the heart of the dispute is something far darker: French politicians’ paternalistic pronouncements on the republic’s duty to save Muslim women from enslavement — by dictating to them what they can and can’t wear. The burkini rumpus is also a convenient distraction from the problems France’s leaders have not been able to solve: high unemployment, lackluster economic growth and a still very real terrorist threat.


7 replies

  1. I strongly believe that the ancient Islamic tradition must be reformed to a Modern interpretation of Islam.

    I.e, ancient Islamic Arab tradition like; apostasy, blasphemy, gay-lesbian, slavery have to be abolished…and criminal law such as beheading, cut off hand, hanging, slash, burqa, Hijab, burkini, System of Syariah Government, Madrasaah, Bank Islam etc should to be reformed.

    Otherwise. Muslims can not live in free society, Secular Democratic system.
    My suggestion, Muslims where ever they live in, have to obey the rule of the land, existing authority, You do not need to feel guilty if you follow the rule of Government. Allah has commanded Muslims to obey existing authority Quran 4;59.

    If Muslims do not want to obey the existing authority, you better move back to Islamic countries.

    READ MORE; Are women the second class in Islam? Are religions unfair to women?

      • Will Ali Hidayah tell us next to eat pork?

        Rafiq, Most Muslim around the world have been brainwashed by ancient Islamic clerics, like imam Muslim,Bhukari etc etc.
        Why do we believe blindly what Imam Muslim-Bukhari say in the book of Hadith? we never meet them? Allah never guarantee the purity of the book of Hadith.

        Most Islamic Ancien Clerics believe that there is NO prophet will come on earth after prophet Muhammad(saw).

        In contrast, Ahmadiyyah believe that Allah will send His prophet when Allah want to.
        I am agree 100 percent with Ahmadiyyah’s faith that Allah will send more prophets on earth.

        I am happy, it is cool, Ahmadiyah is a real reformer in 21st century.
        My suggestion to Ahmadiyah is, please do not stop to reform there, we need more to reform the ancient Islamic law related to worldly matter.

        I.e, ancient Islamic Arab tradition like; apostasy, blasphemy, gay-lesbian, slavery have to be abolished…and criminal law such as beheading, cut off hand, hanging, slash, burqa, Hijab, burkini, System of Syariah Government, Madrasaah, Bank Islam etc should to be reformed.

        Your concern; Will Ali Hidayah tell us next to eat pork?

        Ancient interpretation; Often we hear from clerics that all foods that contain alcohol and meat of pig even a small amount are prohibited according their interpretation of Islam during the time of Prophet Muhammad 1400 years ago. At that time, there were no laboratory. science and technology available to check on animal’s health. They assumed that the meat of Pig and Alcohol are poison.

        Old Muslim clerics stressed however, that Muslims should be careful not to eat in dishes previously used for serving pork or alcohol.

        Modern interpretation;
        He has chosen you and did not impose any hardship on you in the religion,QS22;78.

        According to scientific, alcohol and the meat of Pork are not poison, people can eat pork little bit and drink alcohol little bit, but if you eat a lot of amount of pork meat will harm your health, as well alcohol. It is forbidden in Islam.

        Who is eligible to decide which is good foods and harmful food nowadays? Clerics or Government? I believe in Health department.

        Look at closer these verses;

        They ask you about intoxicants and gambling: say, “In them there is a gross sin, and some benefits for the people. But their sinfulness far outweighs their benefit.” They also ask you what to give to charity: say, “The excess.” GOD thus clarifies the revelations for you, that you may reflect. QS 2;219

        MEAT OF PORK.
        He only prohibits for you the eating of animals that die of themselves (without human interference), blood, the meat of pigs, and animals dedicated to other than GOD. If one is forced (to eat these), without being malicious or deliberate, he incurs no sin. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful. [QS.2:173] [QS.5:3] QS. (5:90-91)

        It is clear that Alcohol and meat of Pork are not poison.Allah allow people eat pork and drink alcohol.But do not eat and drink a lot..

        Based on God’s laws above, Allah allow Muslim to drink a little bit of Alcohol for a good health as well as meat of Pork.

        If you drink a lot of alcohol can make you drunk, it is haram. If you eat meat of pork a lot will harm your health, it is haram. Islam teaching is not dogma, but it is logical.

        Allah and Prophet Muhammad (saw) said; allows them as lawful what is good and prohibits them from what is bad QS 7;157. It is very logic.

        Islam will forbid something that can harm, hurt himself or other people. But if there is nothing can harm, hurt himself or others is lawful, acceptable, allowable, eatable . It is logical and scientific. In modren time, scientist or Government is eligible to decide the good foods and harm foods. Islamic Clerics are not eligible to decide it.
        The ancient Clerics had less knowledge to interpret Allah’s laws, and then mislead people to the wrong direction. It is logic, and it is understandable well

        i.e—if you eat rice or meat, fish a lot of amount it will harm you stomach, in this case your action is haram.

        Wassalamu’alikum– all love

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