It is a victory for common sense and human rights, and a defeat for bigotry, when France’s highest administrative court overturns the burkini ban in 25 French towns and cities. Global uproar over the unjust ruling has led to the removal of the prohibition which was imposed in the name of secularism.
In its Friday ruling, the court said burkini ban insulted “fundamental freedoms” such as the “freedom to come and go, the freedom of conscience and personal liberty.”
The ban prohibited Muslim women from wearing full-bodied bathing suits designed to respect traditional codes of modesty on the beach. If not for the international outrage, the blatant institutionalised Islamophobic rule would have remained in place.
The international community reacted by ridiculing the ban. They shared photos nuns frolicking on the beach and motorcyclists in full gear having a sun tan. Cartoonists poked fun at it with their caricatures while columnists worldwide pointed out the unjust ban was against personal liberty, which is a founding principle of the French republic.
France considers religion a private matter. It firmly imposes its concept of laïcité, whichmeans that the country is officially secular. However, it needs to allow religious practices and rules to be observed even if it restricts religion to the private sphere.
When this writer wrote about the right of individuals to dress according to their religious standards and communal expectations, he was crassly denounced by some readers. There were an equal number of Muslims and non-Muslims who supported his stand.
These are some of the negative unedited comments:
· The editor of this column’s brain is shrinking as we read this article. You won’t be such a nice person if your wife was killed by the bomb hiding underneath those clothes and the identity of the anonymous. i am just amazed at how many moslem fanatics born with see no decapitation, see no rapes, as if they live on jupiter. and then say the non-moslems did it themselves. then secretly at night, the laughed with joy and have an orgasm.
· You live in other people’s country you follow their laws, its as simple as that.
If you don’t like it you can always move to another country.
· Will those wish to wear burkini, please go home and don’t show it to the public…… this applied to those who wear burka in public places too.
· where do we stand? why does it matter at all? grow up!
· Just like a cross, the Burkini is a religious statement. The only difference, beneath it she could be strapped with bombs.
Islamophobia is still ruining our country. As long as we choose to remain ignorant and conflate religion with terrorism, we will never be a truly united society. If we continue to be obtuse and make broad, sweeping, malicious judgments, our society will never be cohesive.