French Police Order Muslim Woman To Remove Burkini On Beach, Threaten To Pepper Spray Mother Wearing Headscarf

It is argued that the ban on head-coverings is unfair because it encroaches the individual freedom to remain covered for religious purposes.



Five years ago, the country of France passed a law prohibiting the complete covering of one’s face in public. The ban applies to scarves, masks, and motorcycle helmets, but seems to particularly affect Muslim women who wear the Islamic veil, or niqab, for religious reasons.

While Parliament declared that the law would bring people together, many activists maintain that it has done the opposite, and instead has served to divide society even further.

Wikipedia relays that the key argument supporting the ban of face-covering is to prevent the clear identification of a person, which is both a security risk and a “social hindrance” within a society that “relies on facial recognition and expression in communication.” If that doesn’t sound abstract or outlandish, just wait until you’re informed of the actions French police recently took against women who wore their head coverings on a beach in Nice.

The Daily Mail reports that recently, the effects of the ban on head-coverings were showcased on the Promenade des Anglais beach in Nice – just yards from the scene of the Bastille Day lorry attack. A woman had been quietly sunbathing – and likely sleeping – when four burly cops approached her and demanded that she take off a traditional headscarf and the matching top.

Credit: VantageNews

Credit: VantageNews

While nearby beach-goers wore bikinis and swimming trousers, she kept her burka on to maintain the modesty required by her religion. That was not to be tolerated by the officers, however, who have been enforced with the unsavory task of implementing the ban.

Even though the woman removed her garments, it appears she also received an on-the-spot ticket and (38 euro or £32) fine.



This was not an isolated incident, either. In Cannes, another Muslim woman was ordered off the beach and fined simply because she wore a headscarf. It is reported that officers pointed a pepper spray canister in the 34-year-old mother’s face and told her she was breaching a new law outlawing swimming costumes that cover the entire body.

When the press caught up to the woman, she said the ‘racist’ officers sought only to humiliate her in front of her children and other family members. She said she wasn’t wearing a burkini, but a headscarf, which should be allowed.

While laws are to be respected, many argue that the ban encroaches on individual freedoms because it makes unwavering demands of Muslim women who feel they must cover up due to their religious beliefs. In addition, some believe that the treatment borders on harassment. Are the officers going too far?

Four Muslim women received fines for swimming while wearing burkinis. Credit:

Four Muslim women received fines for swimming while wearing burkinis.

What are your thoughts? Should the ban even exist? Or should individuals be forced to adhere to the no head-covering law if they are in the country? Please comment below and share this news!

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