Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images

La batalla del burkini

LONDRES – Estos últimos días dio mucho que hablar el caso de varias mujeres musulmanas que decidieron bañarse en playas francesas con un traje especial que cubre la cabeza (no el rostro), y gran parte del cuerpo. Ese traje (el burkini) fue inventado en 2004 por una mujer líbano‑australiana llamada Aheda Zanetti, para que incluso las musulmanas más estrictas pudieran nadar o practicar deportes en público. Lo que menos imaginaba Zanetti es que su creación desataría una controversia nacional.

El embrollo comenzó cuando los alcaldes de varias ciudades costeras del sur de Francia prohibieron el uso del burkini en sus playas. Poco tiempo después, la prensa internacional publicaba una imagen grotesca: tres policías franceses armados que obligan a una mujer a desvestirse en una playa en Niza. Si bien ahora el tribunal supremo francés invalidó la prohibición, todavía se impone en diversos complejos hoteleros ribereños.

Y la controversia no está terminada ni mucho menos. El expresidente francés Nicolas Sarkozy, quien compite por un nuevo mandato, dijo hace poco que el burkini es una “provocación”; el alcalde de Villeneuve-Loubet, Lionnel Luca, habló de “islamización rampante”. Igualmente indignado, el primer ministro Manuel Valls dijo que los pechos desnudos son un símbolo de la libertad republicana francesa, y concluyó: ¿acaso a Marianne, símbolo femenino de la República Francesa, no la pintan con los pechos al descubierto?

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