Supreme court blocks French city’s bid to allow ‘burkini’ in swimming pools

The all-in-one swimsuit is used by some Muslim women to cover their body and hair while swimming

A French top court on Tuesday blocked a bid to allow the “burkini” at municipal swimming pools in the city of Grenoble, upholding a government challenge against a move that revived the intense debate about Islam in France.

The all-in-one swimsuit, used by some Muslim women to cover their bodies and hair while swimming, is a controversial topic in France, where critics see it as a symbol of creeping Islamization.

Led by Green Party mayor Eric Piolle, Grenoble changed its pool rules in May to allow all types of bathing suits and topless bathing for women, where previously only traditional swimwear for women and swim trunks for men were allowed.

The judges disagreed, saying that “contrary to the goal set by the city of Grenoble, the amendment to the swimming pool rules was only aimed at allowing the wearing of the ‘burkini’”.

Tuesday’s court ruling was “a victory for the law against separatism, for secularism and beyond, for the entire republic,” Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin wrote on Twitter, referring to a law passed last year to counter Islamic fundamentalism.

Voters handed the anti-immigration, anti-Islam National Rally an unprecedented 89 seats, while the more mainstream Republican conservative party is seen as the only possible partner for Macron to reach a government deal or pass laws on a case-by-case basis. .

– Fighting on the beaches –

The restrictions were eventually quashed – also by the Council of State – because they were discriminatory.

“This decision is only relevant to the specific situation in Grenoble and should not be generalized”.

Grenoble is not the first French city to change its rules.


Originally published as Supreme Court blocks French city’s bid to allow ‘burkini’ in swimming pools