Liberté, égalité, fraternité or Liberty, Equality, Fraternity is the national motto of French Republic.
Article IV of Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, a fundamental document of French Revolution reads like this:
Liberty consists of doing anything which does not harm others: thus, the exercise of the natural rights of each man has only those borders which assure other members of the society the enjoyment of these same rights.
Now see some recent news reports from France.
On Tuesday a 34-year-old mother of two, whose family have been French citizens for at least three generations, told French news agency AFP she had been fined on the beach in Cannes, 18 miles from Nice, for wearing leggings, a top and a headscarf.
The former air-hostess from Toulouse was issued a ticket saying she was not wearing “an outfit respecting good morals and secularism”.
“I was sitting on a beach with my family,” she said. “I wasn’t even planning to swim, just to dip my feet.”
This was more shocking.
Armed police have forced a woman on a beach in Nice to remove her burkini as part of a controversial new ban.
The incident occurred on the beach at the city’s Promenade des Anglais, the location of the lorry attack on Bastille Day in which 84 people were killed last month.
Photographs show four police officers armed with handguns, batons and pepper spray standing round the woman who was lying on the beach wearing a blue headscarf and matching top.
After speaking to the woman, she appears to remove the blue long-sleeve top.
She is thought to have been issued with a fine and warned about the new dress code on the beach.
Several women have now been fined in France for wearing the swim wear.
It seems the French authorities believe wearing a burkini traumatise others while banning it do not infringe on the right of Liberty enshrined as the motto of their republic.
I feel any woman, whatever be the religion, born and brought up in South Asia, may feel more comfortable in a burkini than a bikini. Is it not better to allow the person concerned to choose their attire ?
Imposition of dress code by religion has to be defeated. But State doing the same will not help that cause.
France is shamefully violating the very same ideals on which the French nation was established.
France is walking backwards by imposing dress codes.
Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk- says
Women’s bodies, always men’s go to battleground.
Nun’s habits are of course completely OK.
The French seem to have forgotten liberty and secularism.
I feel any woman, whatever be the religion, born and brought up in South France, may feel more comfortable in the just the bottom half of a bikini than a burkini. Is it not better to allow the person concerned to choose their attire? And how do you think that argument would fly on the beach in, say, Jeddah?
Liberté, égalité, nudité. Vive la France.
The French authorities don’t, I think, believe wearing a burkini “traumatise[s] others”. I do think they believe ostentatiously wearing a symbol of religion on a beach yards away from the site of a terrorist atrocity commited just days ago in the name of that religion is, as we would say in England, taking the piss.
Andrew Dalke says
Your feelings have as much bearing as mine (ie, none) on what someone else should wear, nor do you speak for all women from southern France. Yes, I feel that if a woman chooses to wear a burkini then she should be allowed to wear it. Yes, wearing a bikini on a public beach in Jeddah is not allowed. Then again, we don’t typically let repressive regimes guide our sense of what is right and wrong, otherwise all the pubs in your country would be shut down.
Here’s a picture of a nun on the beach in Nice. http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-an-orthodox-ukranian-nun-with-her-digital-camera-on-the-beach-in-nice-20500750.html . If she were to do it again, with this law in place, do you really think she forced to remove her habit, or be fined?
Given the violence done in the name of religion in your own country’s history, perhaps you can tell me how many days it should take after atrocities done in the name of Christianity before Christians in public are once again allowed to wear a cross necklace, or a cross of ashes on their forehead for Ash Wednesday, or sing Christmas carols? Should it be one week after anti-abortionists kill an abortion provider in name of Christianity, or two?
After all the IRA bombings in the name of a free Northern Ireland, what cultural symbols or practices did England ban, and for how long, to keep Irish republicans from taking the piss?
Interesting you should ask. Nothing. Because here’s the thing: Irish people – the non-terrorist ones – were sufficiently sensitive and civilised not to take the piss in the first place. Thanks for raising the distinction.
And re: the nuns, get back to me when seven dozen people are mowed down in the name of the Pope, and see how welcome those nuns are on the beach next to where that happens in the weeks immediately following.
Ok, so you are equating an Islamist theocratic monarchy with French Republic. As a humanist I have much more expectations from France than Saudi Arabia
Every time a white terrorist commits an atrocity in the name of Christendom, there are no calls for the removal of crosses from people’s necks. Fuck off. This policy is not defensible in the slightest. The victims in Nice were run over by a lorry, not a fucking burkini, and no Muslim is guilty by association. That’s bullshit, that’s idiotic, and yes–it’s discriminatory. After all, many of the victims were Muslims themselves.
Liberty does not consist of telling people what choices they have when it comes to morally neutral actions. France is wrong, and so are you.
I would bet you folding money that if such a thing happened in France, there would be. But the Wikipedia page for “Christian terrorism”, in the “Contemporary” section, has headings only for the following countries:
– Central African Republic
– United States.
It seems Christian terrorism is a bit like the death penalty – it just isn’t a thing any more in the civilised world.
And no – individual Muslims are not guilty by association. Islam is guilty by association. And France’s position is – keep your Islam to yourself. And in the immediate aftermath of such a disgusting atrocity, it’s in poor taste to question how they handle it.
And you, sir/madam/honorific of your choice, are a poopyhead.
Forever, authorities, usually men, have been telling women what we may wear. Otherwise we may “inflame passions”. But they keep changing their rules about what we should wear and how. The actual solution is so much simpler. If they don’t want passions inflamed, police the eyeballs and tell people not to look at the women whose clothing is bothering them. If necessary, pass out blinkers.
Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk- says
Also, Muslims were over proportionally represented among the victims of Nice.
What’s next, banning their head scarf wearing mums from visiting the site and laying down flowers?
Great job at keeping young Muslims from getting radicalised. You’d have hoped that Daddy would have to make up stories like “armed men force our women to undress”. Seems like they learned from the GOPs strategy to win minority voters.
Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk- says
Daesh not Daddy. Fuck you, autocorrect
And indeed they will still have to make up that story.
You’d have hoped that someone, somewhere amongst all the world’s investigative journalists would have found and spoken to either the police or the woman in question, rather than simply printing the picture and saying “apparently” and “allegedly” about a story they’ve made up to fit the picture. And I’d have hoped that properly sceptical people would see the words “apparently” and “allegedly” (when they’re used, in the small print, not the headlines…) and write the whole thing off as journalists and photographers doing what we excoriate them for every other day, i.e. taking invasive photographs and making up sensational stories to fit them without checking the facts.