What a lot of Berk(a)s

I love France, in fact I live in France although not the Mainland part. France is a republic, which I like, French people will not put up with bullshit (vive la Revolution) and are usually very fair, so the burkini ban came as a shock.

I don’t want to get into the whole Muslim migrant/terrorism thing. Like most people, I think migrants, especially those fleeing repressive regimes, should do their utmost to assimilate into the fabric of the country in which they have sought refuge and have been welcomed (that’s why I wear a beret).

What stirred me up this week was the awful photos of French police forcibly removing articles of clothing from a Muslim woman in front of her children, while a crowd clapped and cheered on a beach in Nice after the Mayor of the town decreed such dress as she was wearing illegal.

Riviera Nice, the quintessential liberal resort that just about invented topless sunbathing (and more). Nice used women and their bare breasts to promote their resort world-wide and made a fortune while doing it. When I was hitchhiking around Europe back in the 70s, myself and all the other red-blooded backpacking scruffs couldn’t get to Nice fast enough to feast our eyes on all those gorgeous breasts, and we weren’t disappointed!

It was marvelous. Here were liberated women exercising their freedom, something that all women should have, freedom and freedom of choice.

Then a councilor noticed that not all the women were bearing their breasts, and the Nice Town Hall passed a law that all female sunbathers must be naked from the waist up. To administer the new rules they sent batten-wielding male police officers to the beach to forcibly remove all bikini tops from the women who refused to do it voluntarily.

Which, of course didn’t really happen, but brings us back to the humiliation of the Muslim woman who was forced to remove articles of clothing by armed men in uniforms.

It’s possible that the woman’s husband insists she dress the way she does. It’s also possible that she dresses that way by choice.  What armed police did in partially undressing this woman is tantamount to criminal assault, even sexual assault, and it puts the whole of what France stands for to shame.

The Mayor of Nice should resign.

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Perhaps in France, everyone should be forced to wear a beret!

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Author: roguesway

Journalist and Broadcaster. Editor of All At Sea Magazine. Yachtsman. Author of Caribbean High & Caribbean Deep; Biscay: Our Ultimate Storm & The Lucky Lady Cookbook

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