16-09-2021 07:29 PM Jerusalem Timing

Anti-Burkini Law Would Be ’Unconstitutional’: French Minister

Anti-Burkini Law Would Be ’Unconstitutional’: French Minister

It would be "unconstitutional" for France to pass a law banning the burkini and such a move could cause irreparable harm, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve warned in an interview published online late Sunday.

It would be "unconstitutional" for France to pass a law banning the burkini and such a  move could cause irreparable harm, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve warned in an interview published online late Sunday.

Speaking to French daily La Croix, Cazeneuve reiterated the government's opposition to legislating on the controversial matter which has sparked fierce debate both at home and abroad about women's rights and France's strictly-guarded secularism.French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve

Around 30 coastal resorts have recently banned women from wearing the full-body swimwear on their beaches, although France's highest administrative court on Friday overturned the measure in one town, in a ruling likely to set a legal precedent which will affect the others.

Rightwing figures are pushing for a nationwide ban to be written into law, led by former president Nicolas Sarkozy who this week launched his bid to regain the presidency in next year's election.

But Cazeneuve ruled out any such move.

"As the prime minister has said, the government refuses to legislate on the matter because any such law would be unconstitutional, ineffective and likely to create antagonism and irreparable tension", he said.

"However, Muslims must continue to engage with us over gender equality, the inviolable nature of the principles of the French Republic, and tolerance in order to live together," he said, noting that in overruling the ban, the court had "stated the law".

Cazeneuve will on Monday have "a day of consultations" with religious figures, civil groups, parliamentarians and others on Islam in France, seeking to get the religion which is the subject of fevered debate throughout the country better "anchored in the values of the Republic".