In 2010, France enacted the controversial burqa ban law, preventing women who observe the Muslim custom from covering up. Six years earlier, the country banned children and teachers from wearing religious symbols in schools. Both actions attracted a lot of attention, both support and criticism. Some believed the burqa ban allowed for better transparency in a post-9/11 world, while others felt it restricted freedom of religious expression.
Now, the ‘burqini’ has come under fire. Originally an Australian invention, the burqini covers the whole body except the face, hands and feet and it isn’t just Muslim women donning the suit either. In 2011, Nigella Lawson was spotted on the beach wearing the burqini as a form of sun protection.
The burqini debate is a sensitive one. On the one hand, you have a swimsuit that allows some Muslim women to comfortably enjoy the beach, while on the other hand, you have an outfit that, to some, symbolises a lack of assimilation. To them, the burqini isn’t a swimsuit; it’s a statement.
Funny how bigger pieces of cloth sewn together to make the burqini, can make such a different statement to the smaller pieces of cloth used to make the bikini (customarily worn in western cultures). Let’s not even mention the scraps left over at the factory that are used to make the entirely unoffending ‘budgie smugglers’.
Not surprisingly, three towns in France have already signed up to ban the swimsuit, beginning in July 2013 with Mandelieu-la-Napoule, close to Cannes. Pas-de-Calais and Leucate also reportedly followed through with the ban this week. I wonder why it’s taken three whole years for France to get on with it – the burqa ban happened six years ago, people.
Don’t worry everyone, I’m sure it’s only matter of time until the burqini hits Australian shores. I hope it comes in waves.
(In case you can’t tell yet, I’m being sarcastic.)
Read more at dailylife.com.au
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