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Australian wearing burkini forced to leave French beach: Reports

The Sydney-born Zeynab said she travelled to Europe to show solidarity with French Muslims by wearing a burkini. In photo: A woman demonstrates against the burkini ban outside the French embassy in London on August 25, 2016. Photograph: (AFP)

AFP Sydney, Australia Sep 19, 2016, 11.41 AM (IST)
An Australian woman wearing a burkini was asked to leave a French beach -- and threatened -- even though France's apex court has overturned the "burkini ban".

Zeynab Alshelh travelled to Europe to show solidarity with French Muslims by wearing a burkini, Austalia's Channel 7 reported her as saying.

"We were threatened by locals to leave the beach and if we didn't they were going to call the police," Alshelh said. Even though the ban had been overturned on the Villeneuve-Loubet beach, the medical student said 'the locals were not happy'.

"It did make me sad. It's really upsetting because it's just not fair,' the 23-year-old said. "It is as Australian as you can get, it was born in Australia and it started off in Australia and it's the name, the way that the name was put together was very Australian so it is pretty Australian," Alshelh said of the burkini.
 
Channel 7's broadcast of the footage on Sunday evening showed local bathers make disparaging gestures towards Alshelh, who is sitting burkini-clad on the sand with her mother, AFP reported.

When she first heard of France's burkini ban, Sydney-born Alshelh thought it was 'ridiculous', she told Channel 7.

''When I invented the burkini in early 2004, it was to give women freedom, not to take it away,'' Aheda Zanetti, the Australian woman who designed the burkini, told The Guardian in August.

"It starts off at the beach and God knows where it ends," Zeynab told Channel 7.

A terror attack on Bastille Day in July killing 86 people prompted Nice and about 30 other French towns to ban the Islamic swimsuit. The Islamic State had claimed respo0snibilty for the attack. However, in August, France's highest court overturned the ban declaring the swimsuit's prohibition an "illegal violation of fundamental freedoms".

(WION with inputs from AFP)
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