French City of Cannes the Latest to Say ‘Non’ To Burqini-Clad Muslim Swimmers

The French city of Cannes is the latest to decide that burqinis are not welcome on its beaches.


Some French elected officials are really not even being discreet about their views on this anymore: If you’re a Muslim woman who’s too pious to wear a revealing bathing suit, you probably just shouldn’t try to swim this summer.

And now Cannes Mayor David Lisnard has announced that anyone who chooses to wear a so-called “burqini” — a full-body swimsuit that includes a hood to cover hair — will not be welcome on beaches in his popular tourist city.

His reasoning? It’s a “symbol of Islamic extremism” and thus a security concern.

“Access to beaches and for swimming is banned to any person wearing improper clothes that are not respectful of good morals and secularism,” the ruling said . “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.”

It’s already illegal for women in France to wear the burqa or the niqab — full and partial face coverings, respectively. But the burqini does not cover the face, and has been touted by fashion designers and feminists as an empowering outfit that any women — not just Muslims — could enjoy wearing to swim.

Lisnard confirmed Friday that men wearing skullcaps or women wearing the hijab, a Muslim hair covering, will not banned from swimming. The new ruling is specifically targeting the burqini.

“I simply forbid a uniform that is the symbol of Islamic extremism,” he said. “We live in a common public space, there are rules to follow.”

France has been on high alert since an Islamic State attack killed more than 80 people in the city of Nice on July 14 and since a pair of militants slit the throat of an elderly Catholic priest inside his own church late last month.

And according to Lisnard, full-body swimwear doesn’t promote “good morals and secularism.”

Photo credit: Matt King/Getty Images

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