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Burkini Ban Reversed in France


Protesters demonstrate against France's ban of the burkini, outside the French Embassy in London, Britain, August 25, 2016.

Protesters demonstrate against France's ban of the burkini, outside the French Embassy in London, Britain, August 25, 2016.

This is What’s Trending Today.

Two weeks ago, resort cities in France banned Muslim women from wearing so-called "burkinis" to beaches.

A burkini is a swimsuit designed to cover the whole body.

A Muslim woman wears a burkini, a swimsuit that covers most of the body, as she swims in Marseille, France, August 17, 2016.

A Muslim woman wears a burkini, a swimsuit that covers most of the body, as she swims in Marseille, France, August 17, 2016.

The mayor of Cannes in southern France said these swimsuits that obeyed Muslim rules of how women should dress outside the home could create problems.

He said the swimsuits showed a person’s religious affiliation in an “ostentatious way.” France is worried after deadly terror attacks in Paris, Nice and other places claimed by the Islamic State group.

When the ban was put in place, women wearing burkas and burkinis at the beach were at risk of being fined or asked to remove them. A burka is a full body covering that only has holes for the eyes.

Critics said this new rule was evidence of Islamophobia, or excessive fear of Islamic things, in France.

On Friday, France’s highest court suspended the ban in the resort town of Villeneuve-Loubet.

The ruling is expected to set an example for at least 30 other cities that have announced bans.

The decision comes a day after protestors gathered in London outside of the French Embassy to rally against the ban.

Protestors at a beach party wore burkinis and held signs saying "Islamophobia is not freedom.”

When the news came out, users of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter spoke out.

One person in the U.S. state of Vermont wrote: “This whole issue seems crazy to me. … Maybe someone should be questioning the Speedo instead?”

Speedo is the name of a company that makes swimsuits.

Another said “banning the burkini didn’t make any sense.”

With the ban on burkinis overturned, another Facebook commenter wondered if that meant human rights activists would now move on to other issues. He mentioned the fact that women in Saudi Arabia cannot drive cars.

And finally, a Twitter user wrote: “Now let them swim in peace … good grief!”

And that’s What’s Trending Today.

I’m Dan Friedell.

Dan Friedell wrote this story for Learning English. Mario Ritter was the editor.

What do you think of the burkini debate in France? We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.

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Words in This Story

affiliationn. the state of being closely associated with or connected to an organization, company, etc.

ostentatious – adj. behaving in a way that is meant to attract attention

good grief – n. an expression of surprise or annoyance

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