A French high court has ruled one of the so-called “burkini bans” enforced in a Riviera town is unlawful, setting a precedent that may figuratively strip other beachside locales of their ability to literally strip would-be bathers. 

Villeneuve-Loubet’s hardline stance on beachwear that adheres to Islamic modesty principles has been suspended after the court found it “seriously and clearly illegally breached fundamental freedoms.”

The decision has already been praised by Amnesty International, with its European director John Dalhuisen labelling the court’s decision marked “a line in the sand” in regards to the religious freedoms of French citizens.

Dalhuisen also remarked “these bans do nothing to increase public safety but do a lot to promote public humiliation.” That humiliation was captured in a photograph that quickly went viral; in it, armed police are shown forcing a beachgoer to remove her Islamic garb, right then and there.

The bans were first instated as a reaction to the horrific IS-linked terror attack on the Riviera city of Nice last month. Despite the high court’s latest ruling, Nice authorities have vowed to keep their ban in place, going so far as labelling it a “necessity.”

How exactly policing swimwear will stop another radicalised lunatic from driving a truck through a crowd is nebulous at best, but hey.

Notably, the bans technically don’t even mention Islamic garb. Instead, they make oblique mentions to enforcing standards of secularism. 

As a result, local authorities have combated nuns on the beach with considerably less rigour than their Muslim counterparts, resulting in the obvious religious persecution the high court now wants to nip in the bud.

Source: BBC.
Photo: Al Jazeera English / YouTube.