Burkini Scandal


Marks & Spencer launched a line of burkinis that have been the center of quite a bit of controversy. (Photo courtesy of Metro)

Janine Jones, Copy Editor

Just in case this summer wasn’t already full of enough oppression and injustice, let’s add in the recent “Burkini Ban” in France. A ban that has no real standing in French courts since it was made by mayors in over 30 French towns. Before talking more about how messed up the ban is, I’ll provide some more background.

A burkini, the moniker for burqa bikini, is a full length swimsuit that covers the whole body except for the face, hands, and feet. Which doesn’t sound like a bad thing the way some people are out frolicking on the beach in next to nothing, a bit of modesty in the form of a burkini should be a welcomed change. According to CNN, local French officials have said that “banning the burkini (worn mostly by Muslim women) is a response to growing terror concerns and heightened tensions after a series of terror attacks.”

Human rights activists are arguing that burkini bans are illegal and any pushes to try and outlaw the garment are Islamophobic. France has had a history with burqas since it became the first European country to ban the wearing of burqas and niqabs in public in April 2011.

I feel as though the laws that France has already put in place and is currently trying to enforce are to potentially ostracized Muslims in their country. These rules are nothing more than tactics to make those who are not Muslim feel comfortable. Saying otherwise suggests that you thoroughly believe that only Muslims can be capable of carrying out a potential terror attack. We should know by now that all kinds of people are capable of unspeakable evil. You don’t need to be part of a specific religion or have a certain skin tone to be a terrorist.

The burkini situation is another way for society to dictate what women wear. Denying a woman the choice of modesty over what is fashionable, which is usually close to being naked, is a complete abuse of power. Honestly, what a woman chooses to put on her body is none of the French government’s business. There shouldn’t be an image out there where a woman is sitting on the beach surrounded by police officers with guns because she’s decided to cover up when others prefer to bear all.

Rules and laws that impose upon a person’s free will and are only in place to make others feel comfortable should not be enforced. The comfort of other people should not come at the cost of the comfort of a specific group of people.