Rights group to oppose prohibition in courts after Cannes imposes ban on full-body swimsuits worn by some Muslim women.
A Corsican seaside resort on Monday became the third French town to ban full-body swimsuits worn by some Muslim women after weekend scuffles on the beach.
The cities of Cannes and Villeneuve-Loubet have also banned the swimsuit – which leaves only the face, hands and feet exposed – arguing that it violates French laws on secularism.
Socialist mayor Ange-Pierre Vivoni of Sisco, on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica, told BFM Television that wearing it was not acceptable in the town.
“People here feel provoked by things like that,” he said.
He said he was not targeting Muslims but he wanted to get rid of what he called “Islamist fundamentalists” on the island.
“These people have no business here,” he said.
On France Info radio, Vivoni denied media reports saying that a scuffle on Sisco beach on Saturday night had been sparked by a tourist taking pictures of Muslim women bathing in the swimsuits.
“The brawl was not due to a burkini. Young Corsicans were defending tourists who were peacefully taking pictures of the landscape,” he said.
He said the ban on the “burkini” – the word is a combination of burqa and bikini – aimed to protect both people of North African descent as well as others in the community.
“The population of Sisco lives in permanent fear. There are many provocateurs here … We are living on a powder keg,” he said.