France’s highest administrative court has ruled that what has become known as the “burkini bans” is a grossly illegal violation of fundamental liberties, setting an important legal precedent for the entirety of France.
Three senior judges ruled that the ban:
“has dealt a serious and clearly illegal blow to fundamental liberties such as the freedom of movement, freedom of conscience and personal liberty.”
The judges found that none of the evidence produced by those in favor of the ban (who claimed it was necessary to prevent complete chaos) proved that “the outfits worn by some people to go swimming” were any sort of viable public risk. This ruling was watched closely in France and around the world, after photos of armed police forcing a Muslim woman to remove her top on a beach in Nice caused global outrage.
Conservative Mayor of Villeneuve-Loubet Lionnel Luca, claimed that this ruling is just another step toward the complete Islamisation of France.
“Far from calming, this decision can only heighten passions and tensions, with the risk of trouble we wanted to avoid.”
Even as lawyers have said that this ruling should set a precedent, many conservative politicians are less than thrilled. Luca says he will seek further legal action, though at this time it is unclear exactly what avenues he will pursue. The mayor of Sisco, in northern Corsica, has also refused to lift his own ban.
— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) August 26, 2016
The original ban was challenged by both the Human Rights League and the Collective Against Islamaphobia in France. The Human Rights League welcomed this verdict as positive step for France but said that it will not alone solve the “ridiculous debate that has made France the laughing stock of the world.”
According to a recent study, 64% of French people are still in favor of burkini bans, despite terror analysts’ warnings that being militantly anti-Islam will only fuel jihadist propaganda.