Burqini ban on France’s Cannes beaches stirs outrage

French officials announced on Thursday that the mayor of Cannes has banned the wearing of burkinis - full-body swimsuits - on the beaches of the French Riviera resort.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

This file photo taken on January 12, 2007 shows Australian model Mecca Laalaa wearing an Islamic swimsuit (or burqini) by Muslim fashion designer Aheda Zanetti at the Islamic Sport & Swimwear shop in Sydney

Updated Aug 18, 2016

A newly announced ban on the burqini - a full-body swimsuit -  on the beaches of the French city of Cannes is causing friction among critics after the city's mayor said the beachwear could disrupt public order in France.

The ban came one week after a waterpark in nearby Marseille cancelled plans to host a private event for Muslim women wearing burqinis.

David Lisnard, the mayor of the French Rivera resort, which is famous for its annual film festival, said it was necessary to prevent beachwear ostentatiously diplaying religious affiliation.

Thierry Migoule, head of municipal services for the town, later sought to clarify the ban as he associated the beachwear with “terrorist movements.”

"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.

Doaa Elghobashy of Egypt and Kira Walkenhorst of Germany compete. Egypt's Doaa Elghobashy, 19, competing in her first Olympics, has achieved widespread internet fame for wearing a hijab against bikini-clad opponents. Photo: Reuters

However many criticised the decision as being “alienating,” “intolerant” and far behind the Rio Olympics where Muslim sportswomen have worn modest clothing while competing freely alongside  non-Muslim sportswomen. 

TRTWorld and agencies