There is no doubt that recent terrorist acts in France have left an atmosphere of fear in the country.  With the latest terrorist event that took place in Nice on July 14, authorities are taking initiatives that might be on the brink of controversial since they deal with religious concepts. 

The French authorities in over 30 towns had banned the “burkini”, a swimsuit that covers the entire body from head to toe, leaving only the face and hands exposed.  This ruling was on the basis of public concerns following the terrorist attacks in the country.

Last week, the ruling made the news and started a controversy regarding governments imposing dress codes for their citizens. Images show at least four police officers and a 34-year-old woman removing a blue long-sleeved tunic she was wearing.  The scene took place in Nice on the shore of the Promenade des Anglais. 

The mother of two explained last week how she was fined for wearing leggings, a tunic, and a headscarf. The ticket read that she was not wearing “an outfit respecting good morals and secularism”.

“I was sitting on a beach with my family,” said Siam. “I was wearing a classic headscarf. I had no intention of swimming.”  Some witnesses expressed their approval by shouting “go home” to the lady while other witnesses say her daughter was crying. 

Two weeks ago, Nice became the latest French resort to place a ban on the “burkini”. The town barred any clothing that “overtly manifests adherence to a religion at a time when France and places of worship are the target of terrorist attacks”.  

However, the events at Promenade des Anglais sparked a revision of such a ban when it was suspended by the French government. Tensions due to this issue are running high in France, a country that takes pride in its secularism.