A burkini ‘ostentatiously displays religious affiliation’ according to Lisnard. Photo /Getty Images
The mayor of Cannes has banned the wearing of burkinis – full-body swimsuits – on the beaches of the French Riviera resort famous for its annual film festival.
Mayor David Lisnard signed off on the ruling that “access to beaches and for swimming is banned to anyone who does not have [bathing apparel] which respects good customs and secularism”, which is a founding principle of the French republic.
“Beachwear which ostentatiously diplays religious affiliation, when France
and places of worship are currently the target of terrorist attacks, is liable to create risks of disrupting public order (crowds, scuffles etc) which it is necessary to prevent,” the ruling says.
Thierry Migoule, head of municipal services for the town, sought to clarify the ruling’s intent.
“We are not talking about banning the wearing of religious symbols on the beach, but ostentatious clothing which refers to an allegiance to terrorist movements which are at war with us,” he said.
On July 26 a priest was killed in his church in northwestern France by two attackers who had proclaimed their allegiance to Isis.The riviera city of Nice was the target of an attack on July 14, claimed by Isis, which killed 85 people when a truck ploughed into seafront crowds celebrating the French national holiday.
Islamic dress is a hot-button issue in France, where the full-face veil is banned in public places. But there is no ban on wearing religious symbols or clothing.