Cannes Mayor David Lisnard has announced a ban on full-body Burqinis at beaches along the French Riviera. Refusing to comply with the ban is punishable by up to a $42 fine for anyone found to be wearing beachwear that doesn’t respect “good morals and secularism.” Lisnard went on to call the Burqini, a piece of swimwear that covers women from head to toe while swimming, the uniform of Radical Islam and denied that it represents the morals of values of Muslims as a whole. The ban was put into effect at the end of July and is expected to remain in effect until the end of the busy tourist season ending in August.
The edict has caused an uproar among some French citizens that claim the ruling is anti-Muslim. Lisnard countered this argument by pointing out that, not only does the garment represent the values of only radical Muslims, but also provides a safety concern for beach patrons and lifeguards. Fears that the loose clumsy garment could cause drownings or prevent lifeguards from saving a swimmer in an emergency.
Anyone caught violating the ban will first be asked to change or leave the beach before being fined. Not a single person has been fined since the ban went into effect. Local Muslims claim that many of the burqinis seen at French beaches are worn by foreign tourists from Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.