Why should France accept the burkini? Its time to debate integration head-on

The burkini ban in my home country (I am a French woman living in London) has made headlines for most of August. Despite the fact that it has eventually been overturned by the highest French court, the debate is far from over. Journalists have had a field day mocking what they see as an attack against personal freedoms, and keep mentioning that the rightwing in France still supports the ban. What a simplistic view of the situation!

According to various polls, two thirds of the French population supported the ban, and this included the socialist French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, who famously said that that the full-body swimsuit symbolised the enslavement of women. So what is this really about? I got tired of reading analysis that, in my view, only gave a partial side of the issue, so here is my (very French) take on it.

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