07:32 GMT +313 November 2019
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    A woman wearing a Burkini joins a protest outside the French Embassy in London on August 25, 2016, during a Wear what you want beach party to demonstrate against the ban on Burkinis on French beaches and to show solidarity with Muslim women.

    Anxiety About Terrorism is 'Insufficient Legal Justification for Burkini Ban'

    © AFP 2019 / Justin Tallis
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    The Council of State, France's highest court in administrative matters, has recently annulled the decision of the mayor of the town of Villeneuve-Loubet, prohibiting Muslim women from wearing full-body swimming suits, burkinis, on beaches.

    In an interview with Sputnik, French senator Gilbert Roger stressed that the decision applies only to one town and shouldn't cause any vivid reactions among the public.

    "The Council of State annulled only the decision of the mayor of Villeneuve-Loubet. And this is right, because in Villeneuve-Loubet there has never been registered any incident that involved women wearing a burkini," Roger told Sputnik.

    Burkini is a swimming suit Muslim women wear which covers most of their bodies. The item is considered by some European countries, including France, as religious attire, and was prohibited in about 30 French coastal cities on the French Riviera, including Nice, over safety concerns.

    According to Roger, the burkini ban has a complex logic. On the one hand, "it should be prohibited" because it clearly indicates the religious affiliation of a woman during her stay on the beach," while on the other hand, "a decision of that kind shouldn't be made until there is a specific problem registered in a certain location."

    "In the absence of such problem, concerns and anxiety caused by terrorist attacks, in particular the terrorist attacks on July 14 in Nice, are insufficient legal justification for the ban," Roger explained.

    At the same time, the decision of the Council of State shows that in general such decisions might be suspended in case of an appeal. Who knows, maybe the recent court's decision created a precedent that might be used in the future to withdraw similar bans in other French cities.


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