Burkini: To wear or not to wear, that is the question, or is it?

A woman surrounded by armed Police on a public beach, and under their watchful gaze is forced to strip. Does this stop terrorism? This was the question posed, when the French decided to impose the Burkini ban. Commentators tried claiming, women wearing the Burkini on mixed beaches posed a danger to secularism. 

That attacks against Charlie Hebdo had made the actions in France “understandable” because people were “sensitive” and more aware of “hidden ideologies” behind women wearing a wet suit, with a swimming cap attached. 

The threat posed to everyone from the Burkini was such, that among the fanciful theories behind the Burkini, few recognised the obvious contradictions in the photographs used by the media. Where Burkini wearing women and their families, were seen sharing beaches, with women in Bikini’s and allot of half naked men. 

Now all of this is truly terrifying, as both Western civilisation and the presence of ISIL hangs in the balance of those women who wear the Burkini. It’s an easy mistake to make, because in the 21st Century, terrorism is fought with a PrayFor hashtag and a filter on a Facebook profile picture. 

A State of Denial? 

But where arguments over the Burkini showed inconsistencies, was the failure to address France having one of the highest numbers of European recruits to ISIL. Le Republic having the highest number of Jews leaving a European country because of Anti-Semitism, and the fact the French have allowed all of this to happen. 

Among discussions on terror attacks in France, Mohmmed Merah and the Toulouse and Montauban shootings appear to have been erased from French history. Travel websites, along with numerous articles on the subject, mention Burkini’s, Nice and Charlie Hebdo, but don’t even recall the 2012 murder of unarmed French Muslim Paratroopers and French Jewish Children by Al-Qaida. 

To do so would take thought, seeing as though Merah had been allowed to travel between Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan before returning to the safety of France. People would have to take seriously, how prior to carrying out his murders in France, Merah had been involved in Al-Qaida for a number of years, running safe houses for those attacking Iraqi citizens, along with US and UK troops stationed in Iraq. 

And as we witness Islamic State’s military pull-back in Iraq and Syria, the risk of attacks in France increases. As warned by the country’s anti-terrorism prosecutor Francois Molins, who told LeMonde: “We see clearly that when terrorist organisations are in difficulty they look for an opportunity to attack abroad,” adding the military pressure IS faces, could result in more “French jihadists” and their families “returning home”. 

by Hussein Al-alak, editor of Iraq Solidarity News (Al-Thawra)

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