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France’s Highest Court Strikes Down the Burkini Ban

August 26, 2016

This picture taken on August 19, 2016 shows Muslim models displaying burkini swimsuits in western Sydney. Australian-Lebanese Aheda Zanetti, who claims the trademark on the name burkini and burqini and created her first swimwear for Muslim women more than a decade ago, said the furore in France has attracted more publicity for her products.SAEED KHAN AFP/Getty Images

This story originally ran on Time.

France’s highest administrative court has stopped a town in France from banning the wearing of the burkini, a ruling expected to set a precedent across the country.

Arguments centred on the seaside town of Villeneuve-Loubet near Nice, although around 30 other municipalities also introduced a ban the full-body swimsuit worn by some Muslim women. The State Council upheld a challenge by human rights groups, which argued that the ban in Villeneuve-sur-Loubet infringed personal freedoms.

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The ban follows a series of deadly attacks by extremist Muslims in France. Human rights activists have argued that prohibitions on burkinis are illegal and Islamophobic.

France has been ridiculed around the world, with commentators pointing out that similar clothes such a nun’s habit or a neoprene swimsuit are not banned.