Aug
29

Bikinis Vs. Burkinis

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A Jewish lady’s grandson is playing in the water, she is standing on the beach not wanting to get her feet wet, when all of a sudden, a huge wave appears from nowhere and crashes directly over the spot where the boy is wading. The water recedes and the boy is no longer there. He simply vanished. She holds her hands up to the sky, and cries, “Lord, how could you? Have I not been a wonderful mother and grandmother? Have I not given to my local temple? Have I not tried my very best to live a life you would be proud of?”  A few minutes later another huge wave appears out of nowhere and crashes on the beach. As the water recedes, the boy is standing there, smiling, splashing around as if nothing had ever happened. A loud voice booms from the sky, “Okay, I have returned your grandson.  Are you satisfied?”  She responded, “Lord, He did have a hat.”  Some people are never satisfied!

Today, what people are wearing at the beach has become a real issue.  But this time, it’s not that too little is being worn, but rather too much.  Here’s why:

It’s 1946.  A young Frenchman working at his mother’s lingerie shop in Paris comes up with the idea of a two-piece swim suit.  But what to call it?  Knowing that the design would be shocking, he needed a term that would communicate just such a thing about the world’s smallest swim wear.  When he opened the morning newspaper, the headline was of the hydrogen bomb being tested on an island in the Pacific Ocean.
And the name of that tiny place out in the middle of nowhere?  Bikini Island.  And thus the infamous bikini was born.  Now forward to 2016 and the bikini first modeled seventy years ago seems almost modest compared to what is being worn at the beach today.  So meet the newest addition to today’s swim wear line, the burkini.  What exactly is a burkini?  It’s a three-piece swimming costume, made out of polyester, that covers the entire body, but leaves the face, hands, and feet exposed.  The name is a combination of the first letters of burka (full body covering) and the last letters of bikini, i.e., burkini.  The idea originated with a Moslem woman in Australia and her swim wear design is now sold and worn by Moslems around the globe.

But what do the French, the originators of the bikini, think of the burkini?  They do not like it, they do not like it at all; and coastal town after coastal town is passing laws prohibiting it being worn at their beaches.
Why would the French do such a thing?  Because unlike America, where there is a bill of rights giving people freedom of religious expression in public (Christians can wear crosses, Jews can wear yarmulkes, Moslems can wear burkas), in France, there is a bill of rights giving people freedom from religious expression in public (Christians can’t wear crosses, Jews can’t wear yarmulkes, Moslems can’t wear burkas).  This is all part of laicite (lie-ee-see-tay) meaning “secular state” which is considered to be the foundation on which French society rests.  And since the burkini is viewed as an Islamic swimsuit, towns believe they are within the law in prohibiting them.  Ultimately, like so many other issues, it will be decided by the courts.

The bottom line?  When it comes to society, I’ve always been a melting-pot kind of guy and never a big fan of multi-culturalism; for it seems to me that all multi-culture does is to create multi-conflicts.