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Top Court in France Upholds Burkini Ban After Plea by City of Grenoble

The controversy began last month after Grenoble permitted all swimwear, including burkinis, to be worn in public.

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Top Court in France Upholds Burkini Ban After Plea by City of Grenoble
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France's highest administrative court on Tuesday, 21 June, upheld a ban on the 'burkini' swimsuit, putting down an appeal filed by the city of Grenoble.

The outfit is mostly worn by Muslim women as a way of upholding their faith, and is a hybrid of the two words "burkha" and "bikini."

A burkini is essentially a full-body swimsuit that covers all the body parts of the wearer except the face, hands, and feet.

The controversy began last month after Grenoble permitted the use of all swimwear, including burkinis (without specifically naming them), in public.
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Mayor Éric Piolle, who is the leader of a broad left-wing coalition government, proposed the easing of rules on swimwear, arguing that during the use of public services, members of the public were free to dress as they pleased.

The top court in France, however, stated it could not allow "selective exceptions to the rules to satisfy religious demands."

The Council of State, which advises the Government of France, stepped in, with Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin calling the policy an "unacceptable provocation" against the secular values of the French society.

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen also joined the controversy and condemned the burkini as "clothing of Islamist propaganda."

(With inputs from the BBC and The Guardian.)

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