Saturday, August 27, 2016

Burkini bans in France beach

Recently, a series of pictures of French police ignited a global argument regarding women’s right. In these photos, a Muslim woman was demanded by armed police officers to strip off the burkini on a Nice beach.

Independent: Burkini ban: Armed police force woman to remove swimwear on Nice beach

Burkini is a type of swimwear for women which covers almost all skin of the wearer. Islamic women are prohibited to expose their skin on public space. Therefore, they have to wear burkini or other similar clothing when they want to enjoy swimming. On the public road, they usually wear burqa or niqab, to adhere to their religious rule.

In France, however, burqa and niqab have been prohibited in public spaces since 2011. In addition, burkini, which is worn by Islamic women as swimwear, was also subjected to be regulation.

Why are they prohibited from wearing a particular clothes? Manuel Valls, the French Prime Minister, said that banning of full-bodied Islamic suits was justified because such religious regulations were a symbol of enslavement of women. In another opinion, it is afraid that Islamic women are abused if wearing the burkini. Some other politicians, needless to say about Sadiq Kahn, Mayor of London who is a Muslim, are against this policy, claiming that what women wear should not be forced at all.

Sydney Morning Herald: French PM Manuel Valls defends burkini ban as global backlash grows

Interestingly, the ban of burkini from the public beaches seems to have multiple effects. For example, it provided a business opportunity for retailers of swimwear for Muslims. Their sales of full-bodied swimsuits have been doubled. In addition, the argument of banning burkini will be a subject of the next election of French President.

USA Today: 5 things to know about French burkini bans

In my opinion, the banning of burkini wearing is inappropriate for the reason of protecting Islamic women. Full-bodied clothing suggests enslavement of women, perhaps, for my sense of an Asian man. Nonetheless, coercing women not to wear such clothing is another way of enslavement. Every men and women have a right to choose what to do, unless they invade other person’s right. Binding themselves with a religious rule is an option, as far as it is spontaneously decided.

On the other hand, asking to put off their clothes is unavoidable in some particular situations. In the security checkpoint in the airport, the investigator has to watch the face of passengers in detail. In Japan, most convenience stores request users to put off their helmet. These rules should be accepted without exceptions for security reasons.


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