The burkini ban: could it happen here?

The row over the burkini in France escalated today after images emerged of police apparently making a woman remove some of her clothing on a beach in Nice.

Nice, along with several other French local authorities, has issued a ban on clothing which “overtly manifests adherence to a religion”.

The ban has been seen as particularly targeting the burkini, a garment which is designed to allow Muslim women to swim whilst following religious dictats on dress.

The images, which appear to show police standing over the woman as she removes a long-sleeved blue tunic, caused widespread debate on social media.

The state council, France’s highest legislative court, is due to hear a legal challenge against the bans by charity Human Rights League tomorrow.

As the UK government reaffirms its commitment to devolution, local authorities are being given increasingly widespread powers. At the same time, the UK’s vote to leave the European Union has sparked reports of an increase in hate crimes, with Amnesty International urging councils to publicly condemn racism.

It also emerged today that three young Muslim women in headscarves were also removed from a flight at Stansted on 18 August and questioned by armed police for an hour after passengers alleged that they were reading ‘Isis materials’.

Maryam Dharas, 19, the youngest of the three sisters, told the Guardian newspaper that she is seeking an apology for being subject to “profiling”.

As the UK faces ongoing political and social instability, would it be wrong to dismiss the images as something that could never happen here?

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F B   24/08/2016 at 21:22

This image was set up by Islamists militants. Police didn't ask the woman to undress (and wouldn't do it), she was alone with no towels or bags of any sorts and the quality of the pictures taken is professional.

Tim   25/08/2016 at 12:48

Well, they were taken by a professional photographer, what's that got to do with it? The image is obviously helpful for Islamist militants, but so are the bans themselves, and the ludicrous statements by some French officials since (who have threatened to sue people sharing the photo, under an imaginary law). But I've seen no evidence to suggest the photo was 'set up' by Islamists... The full story of the photo is here (though it's in French)

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