Xenophobia in France has taken a pretty bizarre turn, focusing most of all on women who choose to wear burkinis to France’s many beaches.
A Burkini is a full-length wetsuit type swimsuit which is designed to allow modest, often Muslim, women to enjoy the beach while also maintaining their comfortable level of modesty.
A so-called “burkini ban” was instituted earlier this summer by various resorts in the French riviera, inspiring outrage globally over the openly discriminatory policy.
Many who opposed the ban brought up the valid point that just a few decades ago, women were arrested for wearing too little on the beaches, rather than too much. This policy was clearly an attempt to make Muslim women feel unwelcome in these locations, and some brave women intentionally wore burkinis in banned areas to protest the ordinances.
Those protests and public support proved effective and the bans were overturned in August by France’s top administrative court. Despite this overturn, a women who flew from Sydney, Australia to show solidarity was harassed and threatened until she left the beach.
23-year-old Zeynab Alshelh, a medical student, planned to stand on the sandy shore of the Villeneuve-Loubet to see for herself what was going on.
“I just wanted to see it for myself. I just wanted to see what is going on here. Why is this happening? I wanted to speak to the girls that have gone through all this stuff. Hopefully [there’s something] we can do to help these girls just live a normal life.”
You can read more about this story at The Huffington Post.