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French police compel Muslim woman to ‘strip’ at beach, others enjoy show

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Pictures emerged on social media networks yesterday showing French police forcing a Muslim woman to remove her swimwear on the beach which sparked outrage among Muslims.

The pictures show four armed police officers confronting a middle-aged Muslim woman resting like other beachgoers on the shore at the town’s Promenade des Anglais. She was being forced to remove her long blue garment.

Several French cities have banned burkinis and clothing that “ostentatiously manifests religious affiliation on the beach.”

The woman was issued a ticket for not wearing “an outfit respecting good morals and secularism,” reported Agence France-Presse.

“I was sitting on a beach with my family,” said the 34-year-old who gave only her first name, Siam. “I was wearing a classic headscarf. I had no intention of swimming.”

“The saddest thing was that people were shouting ‘go home’, some were applauding the police,” said eyewitness Mathilde Cousin.

“Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” is the national motto of France. But many are questioning whether the nation respects the choices of its Muslim population. Muslim are estimated at five million in France and are considered the largest Muslim population in Western Europe.

Earlier this week, Veilkini, a brand of fashionable swimwear, expressed its solidarity with Muslim beachgoers amid the recent abuses they have endured from the burkini ban in several French cities and announced on its Facebook page that it can bear the costs of its clients’ fines for wearing Burkini reports