I’ve been watching the Burkini debate unfold with open mouthed confusion. I understand that France is a secular society and I also understand and support their desire to uphold their national identity and related belief systems. Where my understanding ends however, is their intervention in women’s choice of swimwear.
I was brought up in a Christian household so I’m not coming at this from a perspective of great religious or political knowledge and understanding admittedly, but I am coming at it from a place of humanity. If a woman believes in covering her body, who has the right to tell her to uncover it – or to ban her from a place because of what she is wearing?
Part of this issue which I find most concerning is the idea that the women’s religion in this case appears to be seen as offensive or a contravention of western values or a ‘extremist symbol’ as one media source referred to it – and that really does not sit well with me. I believe in a free and secular society, but as part of that there is no single religion or belief we must all conform to and so we therefore should allow people from all walks of life and faiths to live free of persecution; surely? Why is it becoming acceptable to exclude the average Muslim person from these freedoms?
Groups who wish to spread hate and uncertainty have successfully spread their poison and this kind of thing is exactly the reaction that they’re looking for, as they seek to drive a wedge between the communities that make up our nation by feeding us paranoia and hatred, they can just sit back and watch while we destroy ourselves.
It makes me sad to see things like this go accepted, and so I guess no one cares that much what I have to say on the matter but I feel strongly that I want to express my solidarity with these women, who in my opinion should be able to wear whatever they want to beach just like the rest of us.