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UK: Feminists, anti-racists, vicars decry 'burkini' ban outside French embassy01:48

UK: Feminists, anti-racists, vicars decry 'burkini' ban outside French embassy

United Kingdom, London
August 25, 2016 at 15:18 GMT -00:00 · Published

Dozens of anti-racist protesters gathered outside the French Embassy in London on Thursday to protest a ban on full-body, head-covering swimsuits, nicknamed 'burkinis' that was recently imposed by 26 towns in France.

Protesters held banners that read "Our Bodies, Clothes, Religion" and "Islamophobia is not Freedom." One protester, Jenny - a vicar - was outraged at the attack on both freedom of expression and freedom of religion, stating: "I'm a woman of faith, I'm a woman who chooses to dress in a certain way, because of the faith that stimulates me, and when I hear about women being told what not to wear I think I want to stand in solidarity with them, I want to say 'we've heard and we're with you and this won't go unchallenged'."

Another protester alluded to blatant Islamophobia as a reason for the government's decision, saying "I think it's an attack on all women's rights to choose what we put on our bodies, but also I think it's an attack on all Muslims. It's demonising and marginalising Muslims."

Earlier in August, the southern French city of Cannes cited security reasons for banning the 'burkini' from all its beaches in a move that critics are labelling as discriminatory against Muslim women. People caught in violation of the ban face a €38 ($42.50) fine. The authorities at Cannes and Nice have already issued 20 fines.

A French court is currently being called to overturn the bans by human rights groups.

UK: Feminists, anti-racists, vicars decry 'burkini' ban outside French embassy01:48
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Description

Dozens of anti-racist protesters gathered outside the French Embassy in London on Thursday to protest a ban on full-body, head-covering swimsuits, nicknamed 'burkinis' that was recently imposed by 26 towns in France.

Protesters held banners that read "Our Bodies, Clothes, Religion" and "Islamophobia is not Freedom." One protester, Jenny - a vicar - was outraged at the attack on both freedom of expression and freedom of religion, stating: "I'm a woman of faith, I'm a woman who chooses to dress in a certain way, because of the faith that stimulates me, and when I hear about women being told what not to wear I think I want to stand in solidarity with them, I want to say 'we've heard and we're with you and this won't go unchallenged'."

Another protester alluded to blatant Islamophobia as a reason for the government's decision, saying "I think it's an attack on all women's rights to choose what we put on our bodies, but also I think it's an attack on all Muslims. It's demonising and marginalising Muslims."

Earlier in August, the southern French city of Cannes cited security reasons for banning the 'burkini' from all its beaches in a move that critics are labelling as discriminatory against Muslim women. People caught in violation of the ban face a €38 ($42.50) fine. The authorities at Cannes and Nice have already issued 20 fines.

A French court is currently being called to overturn the bans by human rights groups.

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