Many would consider a full-body swimsuit less offensive than a skimpy bikini. Not the mayor of Cannes, apparently. David Lisnard says "burkinis"—modest swimwear worn by some Muslim women—are a "symbol of Islamic extremism" and aren't allowed on the French city's beaches. Should a woman be spotted wearing one, she'll be asked to change into something else or leave, David Lisnard tells the BBC. Offenders of the city's new rule—in effect since July 28, reports NBC News—may also face a $42 fine. French law bans people from wearing the burka and niqab in public, but there's no nationwide ban on burkinis.
"Access to beaches and for swimming is banned to any person wearing improper clothes that are not respectful of good morals and secularism," says Lisnard. "Beachwear which ostentatiously displays religious affiliation, when France and places of worship are currently the target of terrorist attacks, is liable to create risks of disrupting public order." However, Lisnard says the Jewish kippah and Christian cross will still be allowed on beaches. A rep for the Collective Against Islamophobia in France calls the ban "illegal, discriminatory, and unconstitutional," while the League of Human Rights says it will take its opposition to court.