First came the bikini, then the monokini, and now the burkini has hit the headlines. This from The Guardian:
A 35-year-old French convert to Islam has threatened legal action after she was evicted from a public pool for wearing a "burkini" – a veil, trouser and tunic covering that she said allowed her to swim while preserving her modesty.
The case revolving around the pool east of Paris has reopened France's bitter row about how Muslim women can dress.
Carole, who would not give her surname, bought the suit while on holiday in Dubai and wore it swimming with her children once at a local pool in Emerainville. The second time she wore it, she was banned. "What annoys me is that I have been made to believe this is a political problem," she told Le Parisien. Carole, who converted to Islam at the age of 17, said she would seek advice from anti-discrimination groups.
The local authorities in Emerainville said the case had nothing to do with Islam, but regulations stated that garments bigger than standard swimsuits, including men's board-shorts, could not be worn in pools for hygiene reasons. Full story >>
This is the latest in a long series of controversies involving Muslim dress in France. The basic problem is that France likes to see itself as a secular society, so anything which that contravenes that ideal is likely to be frowned upon.