In an exclusive interview with the Forward, Rabbi Moshe Sebbag, spiritual leader of one of France’s most prominent synagogues, sought to roll back his controversial endorsement of a ban on burkinis.
In Israel, where it is fair to say Muslims and Jews do not always agree, there is shared confusion and surprise at events across the Mediterranean: the push by French mayors to ban full-body swimsuits, or “burkinis,” on beaches.
Whether you’re taking the clothes off a woman’s back or making her cover herself up, in the end it’s exactly the same thing, Alona Ferber writes.
When Israeli musician Hanna Goor was booted offstage at a concert in Ashdod for wearing a bikini top, the incident was instantly framed in the international press — including in the Forward — as Israel’s “burkini moment.” But the singer rejects the comparison.
A top French court on Friday suspended a ban on full-body burkini swimsuits that has angered Muslims, feminists and civil liberties campaigners.
For the sake of tznius – religious modesty – Orthodox women cover their hair, their arms and legs below the shoulders and knees, and, in some cases, their collarbones. In some ultra-Orthodox communities the requirements of modesty even extend to men, who won’t wear shorts or short sleeved shirts in public. And for Orthodox women throughout the world, wigs are a multi-million dollar business, and those who don’t wear wigs often cover their their hair with headscarves instead, which, if not for their style of wrapping, are practically indistinguishable from the hijab worn by Muslim women.
The Australian designer of the burkini said she has enjoyed increased sales of the body-covering swimwear for Muslim women since three French cities banned it.
Over the past week, enough ink has been spilled about swimwear in France to make you think it’s fashion week. For a country fixated on the female body, this is not particularly surprising. France has a long history of commodifying, objectifying, and editorializing women’s bodies, almost always for the sake of fashion and (usually impossible) standards of female beauty.
What difference exactly is there between the garb Orthodox Jewish women wear to the beach than the burkini Muslim women wear?
Women are being squeezed from all sides, because men in power see their domination and sense of national identity slipping away, Jane Eisner writes.