Beach clashes lead to third burqini ban
A MAYOR on the French island of Corsica became the third nationwide to announce a ban on burqinis, following weekend clashes allegedly sparked by a row over the full-body Islamic swimsuit.
The announcement by the mayor of the village of Sisco follows similar prohibitions in the Riviera towns of Cannes and Villeneuve-Loubet, which have also controversially banned the garment from their beaches in recent weeks.
Sisco’s Socialist mayor AngePierre Vivoni said he aimed to “protect the population” after clashes on August 12 in a cove outside his village in the north of the Mediterranean island left five people injured.
Around 100 police were deployed to break up the fight between locals and families of North African origin that reportedly began over tourists taking pictures of women swimming in burqinis.
Three cars were set alight after the rivals, some of whom were armed with hatchets, hurled stones and bottles. Five people were hospitalised with injuries.
Mr Vivoni said his decision to ban the burqini was “not against the Muslim religion but to avoid the spread of fundamentalism”.
“I am absolutely not racist. I want to protect the population, notably my area’s Muslims because I think that they are the main victims of these extremist provocations.”
The move comes at a sensitive time for relations with France’s Muslims, following a series of jihadist attacks, mostly by young French acolytes of the Islamic State. –
Vehicles overlook the spot where three cars were burned on August 14, near where a fight broke out in Sisco, Corsica.