Earlier this month, we reported on the burkini ban Cannes had enforced on its beaches, preventing Muslim women from wearing the modest swim-suit in an attempt to quell public concern in the wake of recent terror attacks across France. Since then, 15 French coastal towns have introduced the ban, including Nice, the site of the devastating Bastille Day truck attack that killed 85 people.
The ban has sparked global outrage, fuelled this week by images showing four police ordering a woman to remove her long-sleeved tunic - not a burkini - on the beach at Promenade des Anglais, where the truck attack occurred. Another woman has contacted French news agency AFP to tell of her experience on a beach in Cannes, where she was fined for wearing a headscarf, with her penalty notice outlining her crime as not wearing "an outfit respecting good morals and secularism."
The publicity has seen orders soar worldwide for burkinis, with designer Aheda Zanetti telling the New York Times that sales have gone up by 200% since the ban was instigated. Australia, Europe and Canada are her biggest markets.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls is defending the ban, telling BFM-TV, "We have to wage a determined fight against radical Islam, against these religious symbols which are filtering into public spaces. For me, the burkini is a symbol of the enslavement of women."