The shocking photos of the four-armed policemen forcing apparently a Muslim woman to take off her clothes has revealed huge debate, cartoons and will last for the next few days. To start with, the woman may be is a Christian, Atheist or agonist who suffer from skin disease that prevent her from showing her body to the sun. To wear Burkini, as a female professor said, "Burkini seems nice", and she would try it next time. It is not necessary that women who wear Burkini are Muslims or Muslims who are trying to show their Islamism in public places. Burkini was developed for women to symbolizes leisure and happiness and fun and fitness and health .
In reality, many secular and intellectuals are very tired from arguing against the huge loads of nonsense, politically and racially motivated arguments. The question that need to be asked at the beginning is : what if the woman white? Would the police have forced her to strip her clothes? (It was not actually a Burkini) or they would have left her to leave or stay and not come again with the same clothes? Another hypothetical question is there a difference between forcing women to wear the Hijab when they go out in Saudi and forcing them to wear a swimsuit when they go to the beach?
Indeed, woman in Muslim majority countries are oppressed and their bodies are a political symbol used by fundamentalists in their societies. This is not because they follow Islam, but traditions of their societies. Tunisian, Turkish or Lebanese culture and societies are totally different than Afghani, Pakistani, Iranian or Saudi cultures and societies. Women clothes are embedded within these traditions and cultures. The ban of Burkinii and striping woman clothes are not only not solving the problem, standing against fundamentalism, but also strengthening fundamentalism against the seculars and liberal Muslims. It was reported by a freind that after Maghreb prayers, the imam of the mosque delivered a speech where he preached against secular people saying, " look at those secular people of France, they want our women naked and their flesh for everyone" How does that help me, personally, and other secular Muslims who are fighting against injustice, defending equality and fighting for liberation of Man from fundamentalism and the inherited Islam (Not the real Islam)? It simply empowers fundamentalists and extremist, by living examples from France, the land of secularism.
In Europe, there are secularism and liberal values that we all share (me too, as a European citizen) and I strongly believe in. Leave Islam and Muslim societies aside. We must not debate the issues of Burkini as pat of the Muslim societies, rather as a European question. European women can wear Bikini in most of Muslim majority countries and nobody forced them to wear Burkini. In UAE, Qatar, Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, Turkey, Indonesia, Morocco, Jordan and a long list. The only woman who is oppressed is the local woman, and that is why we see many Muslim women seek freedom in Europe or live double lives in their home countries. As a value, freedom of individual to choose the way they dress, eat, live can not be impartial and can not be arbitrary managed by the local authorities, to feed the agony against Muslims, in the name of fighting illiberal values.
Once again, the French authorities prove that women are objectified. Once again, the clash of civilization passes through the female body. The ongoing arguments, and the ban itself state that as if the woman is not a free human being able to discern what's better. This mentality is wrong and cannot be accepted in 2016. Western colonialist power (France) uses woman body to impose a model of society. I do agree that political institutions must adapt to the circumstances; yet, these adaptations and changes (extremism and fundamentalism) can not go through women bodies, which France have shows in the previous years. The more dramatic and unconvincing claim by the authorities is they are banning Burkini is to maintain the touristic and culture of the city (French values). Against, values, culture and touristic places are linked to women and their bodies. This is distrustful to women and their freedom to choose what to wear. In many cases, other woman accompanies who wear Burkini from the same family (and perhaps her daughter) that wear Bikini, but she tries to live her own way, where she is forced to wear Burkini. In fact, the woman who invented Burkini is a Lebanese Australian, and it had no political or religious messages.
To end this article by something unreal and hopefully that will not happen. Actually it may have had happened during the Algerian revolution against the French when they raped Algerian women as a tool to shut down the struggle against colonialism and it happened in 2016, when French troops forced girls into bestiality' in Central African Republic . Islam ban and prohibit pre-sex marriage, asking people for chastity. So, if a Muslim woman wants not to have sex, and just want to stay virgin, as her fundamentalist society(Muslim society) want her to stay virgin. By the logic of many, the French law should free this woman and jut force her to have sex with four people/ policemen. Is this kind of logic? Freedom?
No one, including the French police or the majors who legalized Burkini baning have asked the woman what they desire, and what she is doing for herself to obtain freedom (that the French authorities forcing it). It is all about encapsulating woman in religious frame, trying to imprison her through institutionalized tools, such as in Saudi Arabia (Banning woman to show their bodies in public space) and France (Banning woman to not show their bodies in public spaces). No one asks the serious question how can we liberate Muslim woman in France through special programs for Muslim communities that encourage critical thinking of the inherited Islam. No one cares if woman can take care of themselves, and not to follow laws that signed and institutionalized by men. We have to recognize that freedom is not directly related to the centimeters of fabric a woman wears; that the oppression or the freedom of women is not directly related to Niqab, Hijab, miniskirt or bikini.
The situation is surreal, and the French local authorities chose short, easy and miscalculated path to fight fundamentalism and save the French values. The only beneficiaries of this situation are the far right French and the Muslim extremists. The decision of top French court that overturns controversial Burkini ban is a victory fo the human values, and liberties. Freedom and liberties must be impartial.