On Friday, France's highest administrative court suspended the ban on the "burkini" (a full-body swimsuit variation of a burqa, worn by some Muslim women for reasons of religious modesty) in Villeneuve-Loubet, ruling that mayors do not have the legal right to ban religious garments. Similar bans have been enacted by at least 30 French mayors, citing concerns that the burkinis might be symbolic of Islamic extremism, because if there is one thing terrorists are hell-bent on doing, it's swimming.
Amnesty International Europe Director John Dalhuisen issued a statement reading in part:
By overturning a discriminatory ban that is fueled by and is fueling prejudice and intolerance, today's decision has drawn an important line in the sand. These bans do nothing to increase public safety, but do a lot to promote public humiliation. Not only are they in themselves discriminatory, but as we have seen, the enforcement of these bans leads to abuses and the degrading treatment of Muslim women and girls.
However, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls is still in favor of banning burkinis, and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy (who has said he plans on running for president again) indicated he would definitely create a national ban on them.