Casablanca - French politicians clash concerning the viability of France’s decision to outlaw the beachwear known as the burkini, and the continued arrests of burkini wearers.
Casablanca – French politicians clash concerning the viability of France’s decision to outlaw the beachwear known as the burkini, and the continued arrests of burkini wearers.
A fierce political debate has recently begun in response to the massive wave of condemnations of worldwide political leaders as well as the international community.
French Minister of Education of Higher Education and Research Najat Vallaud-Belkacem stated that the ban of the burkini represents “a dangerous political drift,” in an interview with Europe 1.
The Moroccan-born minister said in the interview yesterday that she does not see the decision of banning the burka as pertinent. She explained that “those who saw it as a potential political exploitation” are to blame, adding that she deplores that this is taking place in France in “a post-attack period when the French are worried.”
The increase in arrests of burkini-clad Muslim women touches on the issue of individual freedom and may contribute the growing racist sentiment in France, according to the minister.
“I believe that the proliferation of anti-Burkini arrests is not welcome. I think it the question of individual liberties […] It frees racist speech,” said Vallaud-Belkacem
France’s prime minister immediately responded to the minister statements in an interview with French radio RMC.
“This is a wrong interpretation of things. These decisions were taken in the name of public order. The burkini is a subjugation of women,“ said the prime minister.
Nicolas Sarkozy, the former president of France and an official 2017 presidential candidate, defended the burkini ban in an interview with TF1.
“If we do not outlaw the burkini, young women who want to wear the bikini, which is their right, will be obliged by their communities to wear the burkini” stated the presidency candidate insinuating that the beachwear is not a free choice but imposed by the community.
Sarkozy added that forbidding women to wear the burka would guarantee “strict equality between men and women.”
Jean-Luc Mélenchon, another presidential candidate, made a statement related to the burkini. The controversial politician and former minister of Vocational Education told France 2 that the issue was raised to distract the public from other more significant problems.
“France will waste time discussing religious garments. Today we have the problem of back-to-school season; we will not talk about it. Today we have the problem of unemployment; we will not talk about it … and so on and so forth” said the Moroccan-born politician.
Mélenchon also mentioned that the photos of the French police forcing a woman to remove the burkini in the beach “humiliates millions of people”