PARIS – The highest administrative court in France upheld on Tuesday a ban on burkini under a new “secularism framework,” preventing women from wearing full-length swimming costumes in public pools.
The Council of State confirmed the suspension of the internal regulations of the swimming pools passed in May by the Grenoble city, authorizing the wearing of the burkini, worn by some Muslim women to cover the body.
Grenoble was the second French city after Renne to allow burkini in public pools.
The council’s judge ruled that the change in the Grenoble pool’s regulations was made “to satisfy a religious claim” and the “targeted adaptation of the public service” rules strongly deviated from the common rule.
The decision was made under the framework of the new secularism legislation known as “confirming respect for the principles of the Republic” or the so-called “separatism law” which came into effect in August 2021 and has been criticized for singling out Muslims.
In its judgment, the council upheld the decision delivered last month by the Grenoble administrative tribunal that allowing burkini in the council’s public pools would "seriously undermine the principle of neutrality of the public service."
The decision is a huge setback for a section of Muslim women wearing burkinis who are prohibited from accessing public swimming pools. Although there is no ban on the wearing of burkini at public beaches, several local mayors in the south of France have imposed restrictions on the full-body costume. (Anadolu)