French Riviera city of Cannes bans specialty swimsuit for Muslim women

Sama Wareh wears an example of swimwear designed for Muslim women.
The French Riviera city of Cannes has banned beachgoers from wearing a swimsuit designed for Muslim women, called a burkini, citing the recent Islamist violence, the NPR reports.
  • Going into effect late last month, a city ordinance bans the burkini as well as any swimwear that "ostentatiously displays religious affiliation, when France ... [is] the target of terrorist attacks."
The law was introduced by Cannes Mayor David Lisnard, whom The Associated Press quotes as calling the burkini "the symbol of Islamist extremism."
  • The burkini ban is far from the first such ban in France. In 2011, the country became the first European nation to ban the face-obscuring burqa. And earlier this week, a water park in the city of Marseille canceled a burkini-only event scheduled for September after complaints, according to the BBC.
France's secular tradition
  • French secularism was established by a 1905 law that strictly separated the church and state. At the time, the law aimed to keep a powerful Catholic church from dictating policy. While secularism is meant to ensure the state's neutrality with regard to religion and ensure that all religions can practice freely, many feel it is now being exhorted to discourage religion."