France's burkini ban just seems to get more ludicrous by the day. The justification for banning the full-body swimsuit, as many French politicians have argued, is twofold: to free Muslim women from the shackles of religious patriarchy and because the burkini is a "symbol of Islamic extremism."
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is among those in support of the ban. The unpopular politician, who has declared his intention of running for president again, called the burkini a "provocation," earning a stinging rebuke from the creator of the suit, Australian Aheda Zanetti.
"I truly, truly believe that the French have misunderstood and that they don't know what a burkini looks like and what it represents," Zanetti said, according to The Guardian. "For someone to bring out a statement like that on a piece of clothing that is about joy ... he doesn't know what he's talking about. He needs to go to the beach and maybe ask, what is a burkini swimsuit?"
As the international community watches the controversy unfold, J.K. Rowling — with ever-astute commentary — chimed in.
Singling out Sarkozy for his comments, Rowling tweeted, "So Sarkozy calls the burkini a 'provocation.' Whether women cover or uncover their bodies, seems we're always, always 'asking for it.' "
There are many more such voices of protest in England, too. Having recently voted to part from the European Union, those looking on in the U.K. are well aware of the dangers of identity politics.