Cannes Says Beachwear Must Respect “Good Morals”

Open Jaw

TheFrenchresort of Cannes has issued an ordinance forbidding beachwear that doesn't respect "good morals and secularism."

What does that mean? Has the itsy-bitsy, teenie-weenie yellow polka dot bikini been banned?

Cannes has banned full-body, head-covering swimsuits – also known as burkinis --from its beaches, citing security reasons. Violators risk a €38 fine.

The ban comes as France remains on edge after deadly Islamic extremist attacks on nearby Nice and on a Catholic church in northwest France.

Associated Press quoted Cannes MayorDavid Lisnard as saying that the ban is aimed at swimwear that manifests "religious affiliation in an ostentatious way, while France and its religious sites are currently the target of terrorist attacks.”

The mayor called the burkini "the uniform of extremist Islamism, not of the Muslim religion."

Others see it differently, calling the new rule a discriminatory anti-Muslim move that only worsens religious tensions.

In an interview published in Nice-Matin newspaper, Lisnard said the measure could also apply to saris worn by Indian bathers, because the clothing could hamper rescuers' efforts to save them in an emergency.

French law already forbids face-covering veils in public and headscarves in public schools. Proponents say the laws preserve secular values and protect women from religious oppression. But critics say the regulations have deepened the religious divide and ISIS extremists say the laws are justification for attacking France.

The Collective Against Islamophobia In France says it will file a lawsuit challenging the legality of the Cannes measure. It urged tolerance, noting that Muslims made up about a third of the 85 victims of the July 14 truck attack on the Nice seafront.


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