French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Monday slammed a New York Times article prompted by the debate over the burkini swimsuit in which French Muslim women complained of discrimination and even "persecution".

The article, which appeared on Friday, painted an "unacceptable image of France because it is false," Valls wrote in the French-language online edition of the Huffington Post.

New York Times reporter Lillie Dremaux solicited the views of European Muslim women on the burkini debate, distilling more than 1,000 comments for the article.

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