08/19/2016, 19.17
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The burkini affaire, a noose to strangle East and West

by Kamel Abderrahmani

The decision by seven French mayors to ban the swimsuit that covers the whole body except the face has been justified in the name of security, state secularism, and women’s dignity. However, the real security issues in France and elsewhere are in mosques, among radical clerics, and on Islamist websites. At the same time, European Muslims must re-examine their faith and adapt it to new times and places, avoiding the schizophrenia of preserving a culture of a 1,000 years ago. A young Muslim gives his opinion.

Paris (AsiaNews) – At least seven French mayors, including the mayor of Cannes, have banned burkinis on public beaches to prevent public order problems after a series of attacks shook the country, almost all claimed by “Islamic State soldiers”.

Created by a Lebanese-Australian woman, the burkini is a kind of wetsuit that covers the whole body except the face, the hands and the feet and allows Muslim women to go to the beach or swimming pool without too much hindrance to their body.

For Aheda Zanetti, the burkini’s creator, this type of swimsuit was meant to “allow Muslim women to practice sports . . . without violating their moral code". But for many French people it is a blatant sectarian show and for this reason should not be allowed in secularist France.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has even said that the burkinis "is the translation of a political project, a counter-society based as it is obvious, on women’s subjugation,” adding that it gives “the idea that women are naturally immodest, impure, and should always be covered. "

For AsiaNews the burkini is not security problem. Unlike the burka, it leaves the face uncovered. Security issues in France are much more serious when you consider that all the perpetrators of the massacres in Nice, Paris, Rouen and elsewhere had already been reported as dangerous, and yet they were able to plan and carry out their murderous projects.

It is true that covering women's bodies is an offence to "French culture" and the dignity of women. However, it is Muslim women who should say so, and should not have imposed on them as an obligation to defend secularism, which thus risks becoming ever more intrusive and oppressive, like the radical culture that it says it is fighting.

The fact remains that for days, social media have been dominated by discussions in favour or against the burkini. We are happy that among all the comments, some are from Muslims who think like us. Here is what one young Algerian living in Paris told us. (BC)


The whole burkini issue is nonsense and Muslims make too much fuss over it. If I had political power, instead of patrolling the beaches, I’d check out the mosques, the imams and the Internet, especially Islamist sites.

France instead seems to hang on to false problems. Whether a woman swims in a bikini or something else, that is her decision. At best, the most important thing for the sake of security is that she does not hide her face.

I am Algerian, and I lived in Algeria for 26 years, in a coastal city. In summer I worked as a lifeguard, for eight years, and I have seen women in bikinis, wearing veils, topless, in burkinis, and none of this ever created any problems, and Algeria is not exactly the freest country in the world.

Still, it seems to me that Muslims also have to rethink their place in Western society. I have always said that the Quran is not a fashion wear catalogue. That is not the most important thing in a religious book.

Nowadays, every Muslim must choose, ponder and interpret the Quran according to his or her culture, values ​​and identity. This will ensure the adaptation of the text to different cultures.

I would like to say to Western Mohammedans to stop importing Bedouin Islam and stop taking to apocryphal texts as religious references. These texts keep you in an age, a culture, a specific tradition that date back more than ten centuries ago.

For Muslims still tied to Bedouin values, burkinis are the latest attempt to synthesise conservation and modernity. It reveals an important fact: Muslims’ brain is danger of drowning in the muddy waters of modernity, caught between conservation and modernity, which causes an illness called schizophrenia.

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