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Burkini clash sets tone for France’s presidential campaign

Click to play video: 'France’s highest court draws line in sand over so-called burkini ban' France’s highest court draws line in sand over so-called burkini ban
France’s highest court has overturned a ban on the so-called ‘burkini’ bathing suit worn by some Muslim women, but as Jackson Proskow reports, that has not ended the debate about whether the garment should be allowed in French society – Aug 26, 2016

PARIS – The national identity crisis exposed by France’s burkini controversy is threatening to set the tone for the country’s presidential campaign.

A top court ruling Friday against banning the head-to-ankle swimwear didn’t put an end to the debate.

Along with the economy, the relationship between France’s Muslims and non-Muslims has been a recurring theme as presidential hopefuls kick off campaigning for the April-May elections.

READ MORE: France burkini ban backlash after photos show woman removing coverings, police issuing fine

Former President Nicolas Sarkozy told a campaign rally he wants a national law banning burkinis.

His chief rival for the conservative nomination, Alain Juppe, has called for a special accord between the state and Muslim leaders to lay out clear rules for respecting French secularism.

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Some leftist candidates have criticized the burkini as oppressing women, but say the far right is using the issue to encourage racism.

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