French leader argues against burkini-style bans
French President Francois Hollande delivers his speech about democracy and terrorism as he looks ahead to a potential bid for a second term, Thursday Sept. 8, 2016 in Paris. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, Pool)
The Associated Press
Published Thursday, September 8, 2016 7:08AM EDT
PARIS -- French President Francois Hollande is suggesting that he would oppose a national law banning burkini swimsuits, an idea championed by some conservative rivals.
Hollande, in a speech Thursday about terrorism and democracy, argued against measures stigmatizing Muslims. He continued, "as long as I am president, there will be no legislation of circumstance that is as impossible to apply as it is unconstitutional."
Several towns around the country banned burkinis over the summer, citing security reasons and France's strict secularism policies. France's top administrative authority ruled that burkini bans are illegal unless there is a proven risk to public order.
Former President Nicolas Sarkozy, among others, called for a national ban on the head-and-body-covering suits, worn by a small minority of Muslim women.