Excerpt:

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve warned Wednesday against stigmatising Muslims, as a furore over the banning of burkinis grew with the emergence of pictures showing police surrounding a veiled woman on a beach.

Speaking after a meeting with the head of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), Cazeneuve said: "The implementation of secularism, and the option of adopting such decrees must not lead to stigmatisation or the creation of hostility between French people."

Dozens of French towns and villages, mostly on the Cote d'Azur, have banned beachwear that "conspicuously" shows a person's religion -- a measure aimed at the full-body Islamic swimsuit but which has also been used against women wearing long clothes and a headscarf.


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