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.

Story continues below advertisement

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

Sponsored content