Massive social media condemnation after French police force Muslim woman to remove tunic


French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve warned on Thursday against stigmatising Muslims, as a furore over the banning of burkinis grew with the emergence of pictures showing police surrounding a veiled woman on a beach.

Speaking after a meeting with the head of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), Cazeneuve said,”The implementation of secularism, and the option of adopting such decrees must not lead to stigmatisation or the creation of hostility between French people.”

Dozens of French towns and villages, mostly on the Cote d’Azur, have banned beachwear that “conspicuously” shows a person’s religion — a measure aimed at the full-body Islamic swimsuit but which has also been used against women wearing long clothes and a headscarf.

CFCM president Anouar Kbibech requested an urgent meeting with Cazeneuve after pictures emerged of a veiled woman sitting on a beach in Nice removing her tunic, watched by four policemen.

The images, which went viral on social media, were interpreted as showing the woman being pressured by police into removing the garment.

This caused huge backlash on social media platforms, where users have been venting there anger against the latest act of French police targeting hijab-clad Muslim women.

Here are some of the reactions.