France

Burkini Ban Busted! French Court Says No to Criminalizing Muslim Swimwear

France's top court struck down a ban on Muslim women's swimwear known as "burkinis."

|

Artur Widak/Sipa USA/Newscom

On Friday, France's highest administrative court ruled that French leaders may not ban burkinis, the full-coverage swimming garments favored by Muslim women, from public beaches.

The French Council of State ruling related specifically to the town of Villeneuve-Loubet, but it should also block bans passed by dozens of French towns and cities recently amid alleged concerns about terrorism.

For more on the burkini bans—and the flawed logic backing them—see Reason's previous coverage:

Advertisement

NEXT: Libertarian Gary Johnson Comes Out Against Carbon Taxes, Mandatory Vaccines

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. The modest terrorists have won.

    1. So now we can’t see their camel-toes or their camel-nipples after all?

      I’d walk a mile for some camel-toe!

      1. I’ve read elsewhere that men weren’t allowed to show their nipples in public until 1934.

        There’s a Surah in the Quran about why God gave men nipples. It’s in Al-An’am, “The Cattle”. It says:

        “Mecca lekka hi mecca hiney ho!”

        That’s hard to translate into English, but, basically, once you’ve got a millennial in in a purple nurple (aka the “titty twister”), you don’t have to stop until he says “Mecca lekka hi mecca hiney ho”.

        . . . which can be difficult under the circumstance, so practice, practice, practice.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XN5kVvR8VQI

        1. You almost had me going there.

        2. When I lived in Austin, Texas, I was very amused by the historical pictures at Barton Springs of men swimming in their one piece suits in the 1930s.

          1. Yeah, Men couldn’t show their nipples in this country before the 1930s..

            And why men have nipples kinda blows people’s minds. It certainly brings the Genesis 1 story into question.

            The Y chromosome mostly just takes what’s on the X and makes it masculine. Women are the base model–not men. That’s why we have nipples.

            If God molded men from clay with nipples intact, and then molded Eve from his rib as a version of Adam? Then why are men basically altered versions of females? It makes more sense the other way around.

            If I were writing Genesis today, it’d have Adam being made from Eve’s rib, or, better yet, I’d start earlier with endosymbiotic theory–explaining why mitochondria have their own DNA by having God introducing rickettsias and chloroplasts to each other in a lab.

            Admittedly, my story isn’t as poetic. There aren’t any talking snakes or anything like that–but then, in my version, men don’t have to go through millennia in a delusional state about their nipples. For goodness’ sake, how long can a state of denial actually last?

            I’ve seen moral majority type social conservatives stand there and wonder aloud about how men could have inherited an attraction to men from heterosexual parents–and the whole time they’re standing there with nipples! I mean, for Christ’s sake, Mr. Preacher, you’ve got NIPPLES!

            How did you get your nipples?

            Think about it.

            1. The Y chromosome mostly just takes what’s on the X and makes it masculine. Women are the base model–not men. That’s why we have nipples.

              Then it’s high time the SJWs and feminists STFU.

            2. How did you get your nipples?

              Think about it.

              Ken, your obsession with nip naps is far more appalling than the vulgar term for a female cunt.

              1. Has everything ever since that thread eight years ago really been about that?

            3. This is one of your more adjusting rants.

              Also, an alternate translation isn’t “rib”, but penis bone. Makes more sense as an attempt to explain why humans don’t have one. But throws your version for a loop.

              1. Adjusting rants? I wonder what you meant before auto-correct.

                1. Advertising?

                  Amusing?

                  Alarming?

            4. Uh, you can milk anything with nipples.
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXI21S4ZWJU

    1. Submission, yes? In France, secularism has had its ass handed to it, on a platter, by Allah. Allah, 15; Secularism, 0? More news at 11:00?

      In the USA, meanwhile, we do everything the opposite way. GAWD (Government Almighty’s Wrath Delivers) is the boss of God!

      Don’t believe me? Lemme state my case:
      Federal judges (Major-Generals amongst the Servants of Government Almighty), on a regular basis, decide if your beliefs in “God” are “sincerely held”, or not. Your freedoms depend on their decisions here?
      When is the last time you heard of God deciding whether or not your beliefs in Government Almighty are “sincerely held”?

      Therefor, ergo ectoplasmic hoctor-proctor-schmoctor-proctor, black-helicopter-hopter, I win this argument? I rest my brain case!

    2. No, Muslim women no longer have to submit to the humiliation of being forced by the cops to strip in public. That’s what this whole ruling is about.

      1. Now they can be beaten by their husbands and fathers in private!

      2. No, this just demonstrates the power of the surfing lobby in France.

  2. I’m sure the French government will quickly find some other way to make people miserable.

  3. Does a Jewish beach vendor have to rent a chair and umbrella to a burqini-clad transgender Nazi?

    1. I think you know the answer to that

  4. The Bare Truth About Burkinis: Women Acid-throwing men can decide for themselves their female property how much to expose and why.

    Fixed. Not that the state should be banning clothing, mind you.

  5. We would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for those meddling judges

  6. My friend Shana would consistently get busted for ‘indecent exposure’ at the nude beaches. Then, she’d take off her clothes in the city parks and lay out in her bra and underwear while me and my palz would stare, slack-jawed.

    She would say what’s the diff between a bra and bikini top?

    She made the newz and eventually took her cases to the state courts where she lost, of course.

      1. I wish, man. She was hellahot.

        1. Did she shave her pits?

    1. busted for ‘indecent exposure’ at the nude beaches

      Wait… wut?

      1. Those nude beaches were unofficial. Pigs would show up just to hit on the chicks there and look for the smallest excuse to beat gays.

        1. Oh. I’ve only been to “official” nude beaches.

        2. What? How were they able to find the chicks in that sea of naked old dudes?

        3. look for the smallest excuse to beat gays.

          Hot.

          1. Here’s a recent case at the same beach where the gay dude that got busted realized that if he didn’t plead guilty instead of fighting the charges and losing he could be put on a sex offender list.

            That sex offender law really put the kibosh on the nude beach.

            http://www.startribune.com/art…..155731155/

            Shana would frolic there before the Democrats lost their minds and started seeing sex offenses with every crime.

            1. Anyone who puts someone on a “sex offender” list for skinny dipping is a truly vile and hateful person.

              1. I weep for a world where you can’t get your drunken 19 year old friends to strip naked and jump in a lake somewhere.

  7. First of all, governments imposing laws that may be problematic for certain religious expression is nothing new (yes, even in the US). See: WoD vs. Rastafarians.
    What’s the difference, in this case?

    As far as the cultural angle goes…

    Dress Code Guide for Muslim Countries

    Air France stewardesses were last week told to wear headscarves upon arrival in Tehran when the airline resumes services there later this month. The order sparked outrage among female cabin crew members, some of whom say they will refuse to fly to the Iranian capital.

    “Whenever the locals rub blue mud in their navels, I rub blue mud in mine just as solemnly.”
    –Lazurus Long

    “I can never know enough about human manners and etiquette but I do know that a woman guest must dress — or undress — to match her hostess.”
    –Marjorie Friday Baldwin

    IOW, when in Rome, etc.

    It’s just manners. And that should cut both ways. Go to a nude beach, take off your clothes. Go to a “western” beach, wear “western” swimwear. Go to a Muslim beach, wear a burkini.

    *shrug*

    1. And here I thought that one of the things associated with “western” countries is tolerance for free expression.

      1. that tolerance must explain why various “western” countries have sanctions in place for those who say something unkind about the religion of peace.

      2. “Obscenity” laws beg to differ.

        The nipple is not free yet.

        1. *@ Hugh Akston

      3. One of the things associated with western countries is being under the democratic control of majority western populations.

    2. when in Rome, etc.

      Rome can kiss my ass. If I am supposed to bow to their lack of freedoms then I just won’t go there.

      1. That’s the point. If you go to Rome, you’re choosing to do so, and you take that as your trigger warning that you should abide by their laws and mores.

      2. Rome is a shitty, garbage infested, graffitoed eyesore.

        Skip it.

    3. Look, a burkini is just a wetsuit. Are you telling me that surfers should not wear wetsuits at Western beaches?

      1. Look, a burkini is just a wetsuit. Are you telling me that surfers should not wear wetsuits at Western beaches?

        Good question.
        Are wetsuits allowed on nude beaches? I don’t know.

        Of course, I personally think people should be able to wear whatever the fuck they want.

        But it seems to me that ultimately any dress (or undress) code should be at the discretion of the host, not the guest.

        In the real world, legislation of morality combined with the elimination of freedom of association has effectively put an end to that.

  8. Shariah descends upon the Republique. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

    1. Yep. While saying women can’t wear burquinis is wrong, saying people MUST wear burquinis is much much more wrong. And that is what they will be fighting for (literally) next.

      1. Sort of like how people in the US have been fighting to ban abortion and get slapped down every single time they do?

  9. Thought Experiment

    Imagine a religion whose founding scriptures explicitly state that it is the only correct religion, and that worshipers of other religious traditions are dogs and pigs. Furthermore, that anyone who doesn’t follow the one true religion should be killed, converted, or simply ruled over.

    How could openly practicing or preaching that theoretical religion not run afoul of the kind of hate crime laws we see in places like Canada and the UK? After all, the very content of this theoretical religion (it’s a thought experiment!) would under any fair reading qualify as “hate.”

    Does the act of declaring some system of thoughts, statements and/or practices “a religion” automatically exempt the adherent from hate crime prosecution?

    1. Does the act of declaring some system of thoughts, statements and/or practices “a religion” automatically exempt the adherent from hate crime prosecution

      What’s a hate crime and should the state punish them?

      The Enlightenment’s respect for freedom of conscience puts religion on a plane that requires strict scrutiny to regulate. Hateful words and tenets and non-violent actions of a religion don’t meet that scrutiny for the state to regulate.

      1. I am not a supporter of hate crime legislation. But I am a fervent advocate of pointing out hypocrisy and injustice wherever I find it. I don’t see how Mark Steyn can be prosecuted in Canada for saying something unkind about one of the world’s religions, while practitioners of certain religions are automatically protected behind the “freedom of conscience” concept.

      2. Hate crimes are a ridiculous concept but sometimes you respond to absurdity by being absurd. The left conjured up the notion of “hate speech” and has managed to have the “hate crime” label attached to actions by people progs don’t like. So, what is good for the goose and all. If the sum total is people realizing the Orwellian nature of their idea, then good. But the only way people who think shit like hate speech and hate crimes are nonsensical labels will change their minds is if the tactic is used on them. Because they never think it will be.

    2. How could openly practicing or preaching that theoretical religion not run afoul of the kind of hate crime laws we see in places like Canada and the UK? After all, the very content of this theoretical religion (it’s a thought experiment!) would under any fair reading qualify as “hate.”

      Does the act of declaring some system of thoughts, statements and/or practices “a religion” automatically exempt the adherent from hate crime prosecution?

      I’ll say up front that I’m opposed to all hate laws on principle, but the logical extension of this line of thought would lead to the outlaw of Christianity and Judaism as well, thanks to certain passages in Leviticus. What would your reaction be to that?

      1. It’s not really a hypothetical, anti-gay (Christian, needless to say) preachers in Europe have been punished under hate crime laws.

    3. It seems to depend on how long your theorectical religion has been around and how many adherents it has.

    4. Well, obviously, the First Amendment should only apply to religions that don’t make us scared or mad.

      The part about believing they”re the one true religion is especially problematic. Seems to be a feature of monotheism, which has only been around for, what, 3,500 years? Before we get too excited and go overboard with a response, let’s see if this ‘I’m the best’ monotheism fad lasts.

      Oh, and one other thing, you might want to check your Quran In regards to Judgement Day it says:

      “Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.”

      —-Surah 2:62

      Apparently, you believe things about the Quran that aren’t so.

      Do you care?

      Some people believe things that aren’t so and don’t care. They just go on believing them anyway because they care more about what they believe than whether what they believe is true.

      1. The part about believing they”re the one true religion is especially problematic.

        they ALL believe that. Religion is exclusive practically by definition. Buying into the dogma of one faith pretty much requires dismissing all the others as bullshit. However, and this is not a debatable point, only one religion actively and regularly acts on that belief with violence toward others.

        1. Religion is exclusive practically by definition.

          Certain kinds of Hindus and Buddhists might disagree, but pretty much. Certainly true of monotheistic religions.

          However, and this is not a debatable point, only one religion actively and regularly acts on that belief with violence toward others.

          It it foolish to try to deny that Islam is unique among religions today in this way. But I’d make one small quibble and say that religions don’t act, certain practitioners do.
          If this situation is going to get better without a whole lot of bloodshed, you need to welcome and encourage those Muslims who aren’t like that, not make sweeping statements that lump them all together as one monolithic entity.

        2. only one religion actively and regularly acts on that belief with violence toward others

          I picture residents of India disagreeing on which one that is.

        3. “They ALL believe that.”

          Polytheistic religion didn’t believe that so much, but almost all monotheism does. Believing that your one true God is the only God is pretty much the definition of monotheism.

          There is one possible exception, but I’ll just bring it up to dismiss it.

          Jews are famous for introducing monotheism to the West, but monotheism predated the Jews. Zoroastrians believed in one god, Ahura Mazda, who had seven aspects, but that’s like Christians who believe in the trinity.

          I’ve heard it well argued that just as Christianity is a reform of Judaism, Judaism itself is a reform of Zoroastrianism.

          Zoroastrians were famous for their religious tolerance.. To be tolerant of other religions was to be especially pious. Persian emperors would brag of their tolerance. You can see this in the Bible with Artaxerxes helping Nehemiah rebuild Jerusalem. “Look how tolerant I was” is what many of their inscriptions say.

          There was one exception. They hated the followers of Indra, part of the religion we now call Hinduism. The Zoroastrians were an absolute scourge to the followers of Indra. Smash their temples, kill their priests, and laugh as they died. Hatred of Indra is in the the Gathas, in the Avesta.

          They refer to Indra and the lesser gods in his pantheon as “devas”, which is the root of our word “devil”.

          Polytheistic religion is really like that. You pray to the god of war; I’ll pray to the god of tits and wine–and we’re still good.

          1. “Polytheistic religion [isn’t] really like that.”

            Fixed!

          2. They refer to Indra and the lesser gods in his pantheon as “devas”

            I thought they were referred to as such on the other side, too, and the aes/asuras were seen as the bad ones?

      2. Some people believe things that aren’t so and don’t care. They just go on believing them anyway because they care more about what they believe than whether what they believe is true.

        You mean, like people who shoot soldiers on army bases and gays in nightclubs, and run tourists over with trucks, even though their religion should logically require them to offer a multiple choice survey to their victims first? “Excuse me, are you a Jew, Christian or Sabian?”

        1. Yes, people like that, as well as people who make sweeping generalizations about large, diverse groups of people based on erroneous assumptions.

          1. I frequently notice how vociferously people here object to generalization, no matter how, accurate.

            Always seems like a social signal

            1. Well, get over it. Lots of hard core individualists around here.

              And the generalization that Muslims shoot soldiers on army bases and gays in nightclubs is not accurate. Those are not common activities among Muslims in general.

              I actually think that Islam is a pretty shitty religion. I’m just not going to judge any individual based on my generalized understanding of the religion. It’s not signalling. It’s genuinely the core of my beliefs about how to treat people.

              1. ^ This.

          2. Call me a fence-straddler on this one, it would be a fair accusation?

            Lots of Islamic suicide bombers lately, haven’t seen any Christians doing that lately? So, if 15% of Islamic people are viloently intolerant, is Islam still a “religion of peace”? If 35% of them are so? If 95% of them are so? At the logical extreme, 98% of them are going to be violent shit-heads, and the PC gangs will still be telling us that “Islam, the REAL Islam, is a religion of peace”. ? I sure hope the figure is 1 or 2% or lower, but am not too optimistic lately? Count me among the “I just don’t know any moah” crowd? Pray for peace, bros and hos!

            1. Well, it’s not a religion of peace. It was founded on conquest and violence from day one.

              My only point is that it is not fair to assume from that that any particular Muslim can’t be a decent, peaceful person. And that I don’t think it is useful or fair to make such generalizations. Islam isn’t going to just go away. Either the West will be at war with them forever, or they’ll have to moderate and grow up and learn to get along with a pluralistic world.

              1. My only point is that it is not fair to assume from that that any particular Muslim can’t be a decent, peaceful person.

                It is important to note Zeb, that Muslims who are generally decent, peaceful persons who support a much more secular interpretation of their faith, such as Tarek Fatah or Irshad Manji get a lot of death threats (Manji doubly so because she’s a lesbian).

              2. The human beings aren’t go to go away, absent some really bad shit going down, but I can’t see why we should assume that the religion will survive as anything other than a name, if that.

    5. Well, what do we mean “hate crime”? Is it “hate speech” like can be punished in places that don’t protect free speech, or the US kind of hate crime, where some actual crime has to have occurred?

      I’m not a fan of either, but simply punishing people for words they say is much, much worse. And it is an important distinction to make. Hate crime enhancements aren’t great, but at least you are punishing someone who has actually done something objectively criminal and not for crimethink.

      To address your actual question, I’d say that simply being a member of such a religion wouldn’t be sufficient. You would have to personally express your conviction that the unbelievers are subhuman and deserve to die, not just be associated with people who do.

      1. I was thinking more of “hate speech” criminalization as opposed to “hate assault and battery” or whatever. If “hate speech” is a crime, then it’s a hate crime.

        1. That’s what I thought. And those laws are utterly abhorrent.

          And I agree with what I assume you meant to imply. That certain places seem to punish certain people for being mean, but let others slide when their hateful speech is couched in a particular religion.

    6. That sounds like every religion ever.

    7. Does the act of declaring some system of thoughts, statements and/or practices “a religion” automatically exempt the adherent from hate crime prosecution?

      Not even. The actual criteria used to determine “hate crime” has little to do with what does or doesn’t constitute a religion, and much more to do with who is or isn’t defined as “oppresed” by the political class.

  10. Government men can’t tell me what to wear and punish me for disobedience!

    Only my male relatives can tell me what to wear and punish me for disobedience!

  11. Yay the rights of a bunch of oppressive totalitarian assholes have been affirmed!!

    I understand this is good in the sense of “I disagree with what you say but will defend your right to say it terms”, however the absolute intolerance of Muslims to basically everyone else in the world still pisses me off a lot.

    1. sure, but doing this shows those intolerant Muslims how our way is superior.

      /prog. And some of the commentariat here.

      It’s not like any of them are forced to live in a Western society. Let me know when some Saudi court says it’s okay for a woman to wear shorts or to drive because those things are normal in her culture.

    2. Oppressive totalitarian assholes have the same rights as the rest of us so long as they aren’t harming anyone. Moreover, it’s up to their societies to modernize, not us to do it for them.

      1. Oppressive totalitarian assholes have the same rights as the rest of us so long as they aren’t harming anyone.

        Pithy but the males are the oppressive totalitarian assholes in that society. This law applies to the females under the admittedly roundabout mindset that outlawing burkinis outlaws a form of harm.

        1. the males are the oppressive totalitarian assholes in that society

          Obviously. Again, it is not my business to tell them how to let their wives dress. In a free* country, that is something which that society needs to work out on its own.

          *SLD apply

          1. When I said “harm”, I meant harm, as in violence. My original point was that your line of argument sidesteps this rationale and you did it again. “Letting one’s wife dress” a certain way or not implies power over them. There aren’t a whole lot of different sources of power.

            How about this one: suppose they don’t want to “let” their female children learn to read and write or be educated with any other marketable skills?

  12. But we can still bomb ISIS, right?

  13. I have to admit, I was actually kind of hoping they’d let it stand. Does that make me a bad person?

    1. Does that make me a bad person?

      Only inasmuch as a drop of water alters the volume of a lake.

  14. An interesting take on the niqab vs. hijab.

    This obscenity of the burkini-ban enforcement aside, as an observing Muslim woman I still stand by banning the niqab in all public spaces, whether in France or indeed any country, Muslim or not. Exposing the visage promotes security and human connection at a time when both are imperiled. Being able to identify everyone and know one another’s intention and demeanor in public spaces is imperative to a cohesive society. Further, eliminating the niqab removes a polarizing symbol of neo-orthodox Islam from the public space: Only Islamists mandate that women wear a face veil, distorting the Quran from the origins of Islam.

    1. Certainly Islam mandates modesty. In the early Islamic period, the word khimar, “veil,” did not connote face or even head covering. In the Quran, 24:31, the reference to “khimar” reminds Muslim women of the need to “draw . . . [it] over their bosoms” as integral to female modesty. (Similarly, the Quran commanded only the Prophet Mohammed’s wives to speak from behind a “hijab,” meaning a curtain [33:53], privacy being a mark of high distinction.) Later traditions asserting “khimar” to specifically mean “niqab” may have been fabricated. Records show that Aisha (one of the most eminent of the Prophet Mohammed’s wives, a great scholar and among the foremost teachers of early Muslims) provided great detail on the color and fabric of the khimars in her day. Aisha was known as the “One with Red Hair,” as the Prophet himself referred to her, suggesting that her head and hair were uncovered in public.

  15. It’s almost sort of cute when Islam and France turn you guys into these raging feminists.

  16. The whole thing seemed silly. What were the specs on the ban? What skin was mandated to be shown? Or would one have been allowed to achieve the same covering effect had they done it with a variety of swim garments instead of just one? Would something like a SCUBA suit and a separate hood be acceptable?

    1. That’s the thing that made this seem most ridiculous to me — people are presumably allowed to wear wet suits on French beaches.

      1. Or the perfectly ridiculous photo of the 4 police in slacks, shirts, bullet proof vests and tactical gear telling the middle-aged woman in yoga pants and a blouse that she had to take off some clothes to comply with the ban.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.