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French court overturns burkini ban-- after official says it should apply to nuns' habits

August 26, 2016

A French appeals court has overturned a ban on the wearing of the Islamic burkini on beaches.

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The Council of State said that a burkini ban in the town of Villeneuve-Loubet, on the Riviera, was unwarranted because officials had not "proven risks of disruptions to public order nor, moreover, reasons of hygiene or decency." The ruling would appear to apply to other towns that have instituted the same ban.

The court ruling came just after the deputy mayor of Nice told a BBC Radio audience that a ban on the burkini was warranted because it is a "provocation" for women to wear the garment, which covers their entire bodies. "When you go to the beach you wear a bathing suit," said Rudy Salles. 

The Nice official went on to say that the rule against wearing a burkini should apply to Catholic nuns wearing the habit. He argued that the public wear of distinctively religious clothing is a violation of secularity. "Religion is the affair of each one, but each one at home, each one at church, not each one in the street."

Bishop Nunzio Galantino, the secretary-general of the Italian bishops' conference, had earlier voiced his fear that the logic of a ban on burkinis could be applied to nuns' habits. "I can think only of our nuns," he told Corriere della Sera in a comment on the policy. "The freedom to be granted to religious symbols should be considered on a par with the freedom to express one's beliefes and to follow them in public life."


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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: filioque - Aug. 26, 2016 5:41 PM ET USA

    The ban was claimed to protect French morality, which otherwise condones the skimpiest of bikinis or just plain nudity on the beach. Sacré bleu!

  • Posted by: jonesd3170 - Aug. 26, 2016 1:55 PM ET USA

    A breath of sweet, fresh air wafts throughout our Eldest Daughter !!!