Retaliation and Injustice – The Burkini Ban


September 20, 2016 by Cláudia

Under the pretext of “disrupting the public order” and insinuating that the usage of burkinis may be linked to terrorism, France has been going back and forth with one of the most absurd (and illegal) laws of the century – forbidding women to wear burkinis in the beach. 

Other explanations have been the defense of a secular State, therefore eliminating every display of religion affiliation or even the defense of women’s rights by forbidding a convention considered oppressive to women.

I don’t believe the burkini can be disruptive in any way, considering it was created and adopted to allow Muslim women to participate in Western culture without breaking their principles and beliefs. Associating the burkini with terrorism is just caricatural when considering who wears them – more moderate Muslim women who go to the beach with children and often with other women wearing bikinis.


It’s not a religious display either, it’s a piece of clothing. Anyone could wear it (or similar) even if they weren’t religious in order to cover the body, for example to avoid sunburn or simply to feel more comfortable. Also, I find it very inconsistent that a country that coined the expression LIBERTÉ, EGALITÉ, FRATERNITÉ can’t accept that some women want to undress in the beach and some don’t. Doesn’t that fit in the whole freedom and equality?

Claiming to free women from oppression by forbidding them to choose what they want to wear is to basically assume women unable to decide for themselves, which is a unfeminist attitude per se. If it is not okay to tell a woman she is not wearing enough clothes, why would it be okay to try to force women to undress?

But it’s not hard to see that all of these are absurd runarounds to (very poorly) cover up the real motivation: retaliation because of the terrorist attacks that happened in France. These attacks have increased the already existent xenophobia towards Muslim communities which now seems to them somehow more legitimate.

This is a very bad move. This will have absolutely no positive outcomes and is likely to further antagonize Muslim communities from the rest of the society as well as upset moderate Muslims. The greatest thing about a multicultural society is the exchange between cultures, the freedom to exist and coexist in the differences. This is just plain intolerance and reluctance to accept the difference. If women that strongly believe the female body ought to be covered can coexist with women with bikinis, why can’t they – country of freedom – accept women in burkinis as well?

This law will basically result in the prohibition of an entire community to go to the beach since Muslim women aren’t going to undress. It’s going to separate people even more. It’s going to make the living together between the French and Muslim even more distant and suspicious.

At last, this law is very clearly illegal. It’s not legal to discriminate someone for their religion and since the burkini is not harmful to anybody (on the contrary, dermatologists will thank them!) it has absolutely no legitimacy.

I don’t agree with the idea that the body is something shameful and inappropriate as well. But one thing is my personal opinion – that rules my life and my choices – and other thing is people’s freedom to make their own choices – that should rule our life in society.


4 thoughts on “Retaliation and Injustice – The Burkini Ban

  1. Opher says:

    Reblogged this on Opher's World and commented:
    I found this article very thought provoking.
    As an antitheist I am opposed to all types of organised religion. I think religion is conceived by man and used for power. It is a million miles away from spirituality and stinks of control. I believe it has done far more harm than good.
    Islam is one of the worst in many ways. It is an intolerant religion that dictates a very prescriptive code of ritual and way of life that has locked the Middle East back in the seventh century and stultified the culture. It indoctrinates young children as standard and discriminates against women. There is not much about it that I find appealing. In its most fundamental form it is violent and aggressive. The barbarity of some of its sharia practices are straight out of the dark ages.
    Not that it is alone in that. Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism have had their bloody pasts and many superstitious practices. Fortunately we have been through the enlightenment and have largely secularised society and removed religion from its overt claustrophobic control.
    I do not oppose people’s personal beliefs or wish to curb them. If people wish to believe in a religion that is fine with me as long as that is on a personal level, doesn’t involve children and they do not seek to inflict it on others.
    The Burqa and Burkini seem absurd to me. I find it ridiculous and misogynistic that women are subjected to these clothing restrictions while men are not. I find it repulsive that this dress code is imposed on women (against their will) through force and law in some countries, and through social/cultural imposition in others.
    As an objective outsider I find the concept disturbing and absurd. It says a lot about what the 7th Century culture thought about women.
    However, would I ban it?
    One side of me says definitely. It is a symbol of misogyny and oppression. It goes against all the cultural values of a secular society. It has no place in the modern world or in a secular culture. It is a pre-Islamic relic of a patriarchal culture where women were second class citizens without rights and traded as commodities. Women were viewed as possessions and temptations. Britain is a secular society with an ethos of tolerance and equality. There is no place for medieval superstition.
    The other side of me says that a secular society should be tolerant of others. That, if it is the woman’s choice and there has been no coercion or social expectation, she should be free to wear what she likes. If she choses to cover her body then it is her choice no matter what connotations that has for others, like myself. I would certainly not take kindly to anyone telling me what I can or can’t wear.
    It is a dilemma.
    I certainly feel that women should have equal rights in all respects – including the right not to be socially/culturally coerced or stopped from wearing what they want, or believing what they want.
    I would take a hard line on anybody who forces or coerces a woman to comply with a dress code.
    I would ban all face covering from public arenas, such as teaching, nursing, doctoring or anywhere that involves dealing with the public.
    I would ban all religious schools that segregate children. I think it an insidious apartheid.
    I would prevent any religious sect from indoctrinating children.
    I would hope that education will result in integration and increasing secularisation so that we can leave all religion back in the Dark Ages where it belongs and see it as the superstition it is.
    But I wouldn’t ban burqas and burkinis much as I detest all they stand for.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you ! I understand your point of view, however I believe you cannot spread tolerance by forcing your values on other people. Most religious people aren’t harming anyone and they deserve freedom and tolerance and banning things that aren’t really harmful is just another form of dictatorship. And we’re from countries that boast for their freedom.


  2. Kurt says:

    Yes, they’re freeing women from oppression by telling them what they can and cannot wear. Stupid.

    Liked by 3 people

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