In summer 2016, the mayor of Cannes banned the burkini. Over two-dozen other French towns soon followed suit, many of them along the French Riviera. The mayor of Nice supported the ban, arguing that its wearing was a “provocation” in the aftermath of the terror attack on his city in July 2016.
Photographs soon emerged of women being fined by police for wearing the burkini, including one controversial set of pictures seemingly showing armed police forcing a Muslim woman to remove her long-sleeved clothing (not a burkini) on a beach in Nice. Witnesses allege that bystanders were shouting for the women to ‘go home’.
The ban was soon overturned by France’s highest administrative court. However, former French president Nicolas Sarkozy pledged to change the constitution in order to forbid the wearing of burkinis on French beaches if he was elected president in 2017. His bid to become the centre-right candidate for the Élysée Palace ultimately failed, so the court’s ruling remained in place.
What do our readers think? We had a comment sent in from Lucy on our ‘Suggest a Debate’ page, wondering what MEPs thought about the burkini ban that had briefly been instated in a series of French cities earlier in 2016.
Should the burkini be banned? We asked Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from all sides of the political spectrum to stake out their positions on this question, and it’s up to YOU to vote for the policies you favour. See what the different MEPs have to say, then vote at the bottom of this debate for the one you most agree with! Take part in the vote below and tell us who you support in the European Parliament!
No. I don’t like the burkini and I don’t like the idea behind it, but I also don’t like governments telling people what they can and cannot wear. Those people who are in favour of the burkini are rarely people making a serious effort for gender equality, and the calls for banning the burkini have had much more to do with Islamophobia.
Beatrix von Storch (EFDD), Member of the European Parliament:
IMAGE CREDIT: CC / Flickr – bellmon1
With the support of: