France's Divide Deepens As Cannes Bans The Burkini

Perpetrators now risk a $55 fine.

13/08/2016 9:35 AM AEST | Updated 13/08/2016 11:26 AM AEST
Burkinis have been banned on beaches in Cannes following a controversial decision.

There is uproar in France after the controversial decision to ban the burkini on Cannes' beaches.

Cannes Mayor David Lisnard made the decision citing public order as his primary concern, calling the burkini "the uniform of extremist Islamism", the ABC reports.

The ordinance reportedly forbids beachwear that doesn't respect "good morals and secularism".

Lisnard said swimwear "manifesting religious affiliation in an ostentatious way, while France and its religious sites are currently the target of terrorist attacks, could create risks of trouble to public order", according to Sky News.

Women who attempt to wear the full coverage swimsuit on Cannes beaches will now be asked to change or leave the beach. If they don't they are said to risk a 38 euro ($A55) fine.

The beach ban comes at the height of French Rivera holiday season and follows a decision earlier this week to scrap a proposed burkini-only day for Muslim women at a water park near Marseille.

Human rights groups and anti discrimination organisations are fighting the Cannes ruling, with the group Collective against Islamophobia in France expressing "deep concern" on their Facebook page at what they called an attack on the most basic principles of the law.

The issue of religious clothing in France is a long-running one, with the decision to ban the full face veil from public places in 2011 sparking much debate in the proudly secular nation.

France remains in a state of emergency after July's Bastille day attack in Nice and a recent fatal assault at a catholic church in the country's northwest.

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