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‘UK press in no position to lecture France about Islamaphobia’


There is something strangely odd about the British press lecturing the French about discrimination and Islamophobia, an international lawyer and political analyst says.

Barry Grossman, who is based on the Indonesian island of Bali, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Thursday while commenting on reports published in the British press slamming French municipalities which have banned full-body swimsuits known as burqinis.

“Many people are responding to this manufactured controversy by saying that when in Rome one should do as the Romans do. I would answer that absurd position by asking which ones, Roman Catholic Nuns or the others who are not quite so strict about their modesty in public?” Grossman said.

“Restrictions on stripping down involve far different considerations than restrictions on covering up, and the coercive branch of state enforcing laws which discriminate in mandating the later involve quite different issues again,” he added.

“In any case, the issue here is one of hypocrisy, bigotry, and the enforcement of politically motivated, and clearly illegal regulations. There is no coherent security, social or hygiene related justification for regional French laws outlawing the Burqini and many media outlets are saying as much. Indeed, the Burqini is barely indistinguishable from a wet suit,” the lawyer said.

“That said, there is also something strangely odd about the British press lecturing the French about discrimination and Islamophobia but that of course does not detract from the merits of the position some British media outlets are expressing,” he added.

“Perhaps a review of the comparative record the British and French have in accepting Muslim refugees forced to flee their own homelands by British and French foreign policy in action would shed some light on the matter?” the analyst continued.

“That said, I suppose the obvious point also has to be made that it is not refugees who have brought the Burqini issue into public focus but rather low-level municipal politicians in the resort city of Cannes responding with fascist legislation which I would say clearly violated European Law to the preferences of some French Muslims who comprise somewhere between 5 to 7 million souls,” he said.

“It has is also worth pointing out that a related a meme is promoted by the self righteous British Press. That meme which has been running hot for two days typically associates a ‘demand’ to ‘ban fat men in speedos’ with Muslims who I can assure you for the most part could care less what other people wear at the beach,” Grossman noted.

“That being the case, one is left to ponder what the agenda is behind agitating this supposed challenge to Atlantic World beachwear preferences really are?” he said.

“I, for one, am not surprised to see the British press, like theIndependent, disingenuously posing on the correct side of this narrow issue while simultaneously planting the seeds of discord between the non-Muslim and Muslim communities in their midst by causing people already inclined to be Islamophobic to believe that the Muslim menace is encroaching still further on their way of life with such demands. All in all this is really a tragic situation,” Grossman noted.

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