Mayor of the French coastal city Cannes has banned burkinis from the beaches. The full body suits — originally designed for Muslim women to wear to the beach that still cover them from head to toe — were banned from beaches for fear of “disrupting public order,” according Mayor David Lisnard.
Any person entering the Cannes beaches wearing the apparel could be fined for £33 (or $43), according to BBC. The new rule took effect this month.
BBC reported that mayor Lisnard issued a statement outlining that the burkinis were "improper" and challenged “good morals and secularism,” in light of the recent terrorists attacks in France carried out by Islamic extremists.
“Access to beaches and for swimming is banned to any person wearing improper clothes that are not respectful of good morals and secularism,” Lisnard stated.
Lisnard did add that the cross and Jewish skullcap, or kippah, would be permitted on the French beaches, Time reported.
“Beachwear which ostensibly displays religious affiliation, when France and places of worship are currently the target of terrorist attacks, is liable to create risks of disrupting public order,” he added.
France has been the recent target of a string of terrorist attacks over the past year and a half. The latest attack was in July when a truck driver plowed through a crowd celebrating the nation’s Bastille Day in Nice, France, which killed 84 people and injured dozens more.
Burkinis – a burqa-meets-two-piece suit – rose in popularity when it made its debut in the mid-aughts. Even women outside of the Muslim faith have been seen wearing the swimming garments. British retailer Marks and Spencer began stocking the suits recently, selling the swim garb in bright colors and floral patterns.
Many are responding to the ban on social media outlets.
In the wake of the ban, the League of Human Rights (LDH) will challenge the ruling.
An LDH leader Herve Lavisse told BBC, “It is time for politicians in this region to calm their discriminatory ardor and defend the spirit of the Republic.”
The Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) is also expected to challenge the new ruling.