French High Court Rules Against Burkini Swimwear

Photo: Reuters [via The Wall Street Journal]

The Facts

  • On Tues., France's highest administrative court struck down an ordinance passed by Grenoble city council that would've allowed women to wear head-to-foot swimsuits dubbed "burkinis" in public pools.

  • The court ruled the city's legislation, which allowed the swimsuit often worn by Muslim women, was initially aimed "only to satisfy a demand of a religious nature," which would violate France's strict laws regarding public sectarianism.

The Spin

Progressive narrative

Grenoble's law was intended to offer more opportunities for citizens to access public swimming pools. Women, whether for religious reasons or not, should be able to exercise their right to choose, and be allowed to wear whatever they want in communal spaces. This only serves to make it even more difficult for Muslim women in France to use public services.

Conservative narrative

This ruling is a win for those who wish to uphold France's long-held view that public secularism should be applied equally to all people no matter their religion. It's also an important step in combating Islam's unfair treatment of women, a religious component incompatible with French society.

Nerd narrative

There is a 50% chance that at least 20.3% of the global population will identify as "religiously unaffiliated" by 2050, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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