Here’s an article I wrote a few months ago that I forgot to add to the website. You can read it below or access it direct by clicking here.
By Banning The Burkini, The French Are Blaming Muslims
The news that Sisco – a village on the French island of Corsica – had decided to ban full-body swimsuits – commonly known in the media as the ‘burkini’ – came as little surprise following similar rulings in Cannes and Villeneuve-Loubet in recent weeks.
In Cannes, the decision to ban the burkini was taken on the basis that Muslim women wearing them had the potential to pose a threat to public order. As a result, the wearing of one would attract a caution and a fine of €38 (around £33). As Thierry Migoule, the head of municipal services in Cannes explained:
“Beachwear which ostentatiously displays 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 would be interesting to see whether Nigella Lawson would be cautioned and fined if she was to wear a burkini in Cannes as she did in Australia back in 2011. It is unlikely that she would because when Nigella Lawson – a white, privileged, Western woman – chooses to wear the burkini, it is seen to be her choice to do so, an act of empowerment. Indeed as Madeleine Bunting put it, Lawson’s wearing of the burkini was a “subversive political statement”. When a Muslim woman – stereotypically understood to be brown, other and non-Western – chooses to wear the burkini however, the opposite is quite true. Rather than empowerment, the burkini instead is seen to be a symbol of oppression and thereby something that goes against ‘our’ values, culture, way of life and so on. In reality there is little difference except that we fail to take into account ‘our’ hypocrisy.
To read on, click here.