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'Burkini Ban' Fuels Debate Over Feminism, Islamophobia and Religious Freedom

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The posting of the bylaw forbidding women to wear Burkini at the beach in Nice, southeastern France on August 19, 2016. Nice has become the latest French seaside resort to ban the burkini, the body-concealing Islamic swimsuit that has sparked heated debate in secular France.  (Photo: Jean Christophe Magnenet/AFP/Getty Images)

Since July’s terror attack in Nice, coastal towns across France have banned the full-body swimsuit known as a “burkini.” France already bans public use of the burka and Germany is debating similar legislation. Tensions over when and where the burka is allowed raise larger questions over cultural exclusion and the struggle to assimilate. We’ll discuss how Muslim women have adapted and what the burka symbolizes to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

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Asma Uddin, director of strategy, Center for Islam and Religious Freedom

Hala Arafa, former news editor, Arabic branch, Voice of America

Sameena Usma, government relations coordinator, Council on American-Islamic Relations


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