30 August 2016

Why should France accept the burkini? Its time to debate integration head-on

.... And what’s next? Should we also allow FGM to be respectful of different cultural practices? What about polygamy? In short, Western societies need to define what’s acceptable for them, and what’s not.

There is a need to draw a line, and maybe the French have drawn it at the burkini. Is it futile? Maybe. But at least a social debate is starting. It’s a debate that societies simply can’t avoid forever. Whether we like it or not, society must have a clear set of "inclusiveness principles", and it’s probably better to face the issue rather than ignore it.

Don’t get me wrong, if covering up was simply a matter of personal style I would be all for it. But let’s be honest: it’s fairly easy to see whether women cover up for religious reasons or not (for starters women would get a hat, not a veil).

What makes me angry is when I am out in blistering heat, and I see a family at the beach with kids in bathing suits, the dad in swimming trunks, and the mum covered in black from head to toe. It’s modest and it’s for religious reasons, but those reasons clearly seem oppressive and unfair.

I can’t understand why a husband would want his wife to wear this. And don’t even try to swim in such an attire. [The Telegraph] Read more