Burkinis, full-body swimwear for Muslim women, have been banned in more than 20 French towns. A few days ago, a video of an armed French policeman confronting a woman on Nice beach made rounds on the internet, as the woman was forced to remove part of her clothing.
Harassment of burkini-clad women in France continues even though a court struck down the swimwear restriction.
Now, a recent social experiment conducted on a beach in United Kingdom shows how people responded to a policeman asking a burkini-clad woman to remove her outfit. Two people enacted the situation while a cameraman filmed them.
The Muslim woman was seen defending herself as the officer said: “Take it off please.”
“I’m not going to take anything off, I have the right to wear whatever I want,” she replied, after which the two got into an argument.
“No no. You can’t wear this at the beach.”
“This is the beach, I’m just trying to have a good time.”
“You’re not allowed to wear this at the beach, you look like a terrorist.”
“How am I any different to anyone else that’s wearing anything else? This is racial profiling.”
The officer then attempted to reach for her headscarf to remove it.
As people nearby looked on, and some filmed the argument, two women intervened and began to shout, "You can't do that. It's religious. She is a person, you cannot discriminate her against her religion."
Very soon, a group of black and Asian women gathered to defend the woman.
The actor playing the role of the policeman was forced to call off the experiment and reveal to the public that the whole incident was “part of a social experiment.”
When asked why he ended the experiment so soon, the police officer explained to Maz, the cameraman, that he was "worried and people's reactions were getting on top of him."
"My heart is still beating. I was so angry, I think I'm so going to cry,” one woman said while another explained she was extremely upset.
Check out the video above.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Tim Wimborne