Muslim women call out Western feminists for silence over ‘misogynist’ burkini ban
Following bans by the French Riviera towns of Cannes and Villeneuve-Loubet citing “hygienic reasons” and linking it to terrorism, Sisco’s mayor enacted the restriction after a major brawl this past weekend in his village over the controversial swimsuit.
@pparaman I don't think they for a minute see the irony.— Cameron Neil (@CameronNeil) August 16, 2016
The #burkini ban highlights both deeply rooted racism within french elites & their collective irresponsibility in further igniting conflicts— Yasser Louati (@yasserlouati) August 15, 2016
I am JUST AS disgusted by France banning the burkini as I am by countries that make wearing it an obligation on women.— Amanda Quraishi (@ImTheQ) August 14, 2016
The debate has gripped France with Islamophobes, socialists, and feminists, among others, seemingly placed on the same side on the issue.
“Since when did wearing a burkini, in most cases a loose fitting nylon version of a wetsuit, become an act of allegiance to terrorist movements?” Huda Jawad of the Independent asked.
“Do Marks & Spencer or House of Fraser know that their attempt to raise profits and exploit a gap in the over-saturated clothing market is selling and promoting allegiance to ISIS?” she added, referring to recent clothing brands selling the swimwear.
"These daily micro, and at times macro, aggressions indicate the extent to which misogynistic Islamophobia has become normalized in Western discourse and public debate," Jawad noted. "What hurts the most is the silence of fellow mainstream and 'western' feminists whose voices would have a significant impact on how these issues are framed and articulated."
In an interview with Le Parisien, Socialist Party Minister for Family, Children and Women’s Rights Laurence Rossignol, defended the ban and said the burkini’s purpose is “to hide women’s bodies in order to better control them.”
The same minister in April compared Muslim women who choose to wear the veil to “American negroes” who supported slavery.
While many white, Western feminists defend the rights of women to be free for what they wear or do to their bodies, there has been silence concerning Muslim women who are often marginalized.
On August 9, a ‘Burkini Day’ for women at a waterpark beside Marseilles was called off after organizers received death threats.
There were no protests from white feminists, nor did they don the burkini in solidarity with Muslim women who choose to wear the outfit.
Jawad also highlighted France’s “fundamentalist secularism” for singling out and blaming “the most visible and vulnerable group in society.”
This recently enacted French burkini ban is so idiotic pic.twitter.com/TfhwCYix9x— Shahed Amanullah (@shahed) August 15, 2016
Intentionally marginalizing Muslim women, Jawad added, highlights the country’s own issues with misogyny and racism by ironically telling women how they can or can’t dress.
French authorities banned women from wearing the burka in 2010, despite fewer than 2,000 women in the country wearing the garment and the time.