A French court suspended the ban on full-body "burkini" swimsuits imposed by a Mediterranean resort that has angered Muslims, feminists and civil liberties campaigners the world over.
According to the court, there is no legal basis for the ban because there is no proven risk between the burkini and public order, hygiene or public decency that could justify the restriction.
Marc Etienne Lansade, a right-wing mayor, believes otherwise. He intends to pursue the ban. He believes people should live according to the local customs and traditions of the country they are in.
“You have to behave in the way that people behave in the country that accepted you, and that is it. If you are accepted in Rome — do like Romans do. Go in Saudi Arabia and be naked and see what will happen to you," he said.
"If you don't want to live the way we do, don't come,” he added.
Conservative and far-right politicians want to ban burkinis nationwide.
Several mayors are also in agreement with Lansade and don’t intend to suspend bans in their respective towns either.
“Marianne, the symbol of the Republic, is bare breast because she's feeding the people, she doesn't wear a veil because she's free,” said Prime Minister Manual Valls, who also supports the ban.
The issue highlights the problems Muslims have experienced in France following a series of deadly attacks carried out by Islamist militants against the public in the past 20 months, including in Paris and Nice.
However, there’s a problem with Lansade’s “logic.” No matter how you put it, two wrongs do not make a right.
He is forgetting something very crucial: France is NOT Saudi Arabia.
One can’t expect to implement something just to miff someone else off — or to cut off their nose to spite their face, so to speak.
Saudi Arabia is a conservative Muslim country with very strict rules governing what people wear, eat, drink or how they generally conduct their lives. Freedom of expression, life and choice doesn’t mean much there. It’s the strictest of interpretations of the Islamic code of conduct, or Shariah, which rules lives, not the freedom to choose. The country is constantly on the receiving end of harsh criticism from the world as well as human rights groups.
Must the enlightened societies stoop to their level to make a point?
How different does such a stance make them from Saudi Arabia banning the women from driving, the Taliban making women cover up by force or Iran jailing youngsters for dancing in public?
Ah nothing says freedom like forcibly removing a woman's burkini. Well done France! U have preserved secularism. Phew it was a close call!— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) August 24, 2016
Ironic how one of France's key beliefs is in freedom yet theyve denied the freedom of so many Muslim women by making the burkini illegal— Chloé (@CommeJeSuis_) August 27, 2016
It doesn’t become France, a vocal supporter of democracy and freedom, the land of Charlie Hebdo, to play tit for tat like that.
“We've seen the protests, and I would say that in France all beliefs are respected. ... In particular freedom of expression," said the French President François Hollande after the protests against Charlie Hebdo.
Apparently, in the words of Sunny Hundal writing for The Independent, “French politicians are in favor of provocation and free speech, it seems, until Muslims exercise those freedoms.”
Or as Syed Tausief Ausaf wrote in The Arab News, “The French burkini ban seems to have taken swimming lessons in a pool filled with double standard, discrimination, hypocrisy and bigotry.”