Norway must follow the lead of a number of French towns and ban the burkini, according to a senior politician in the country’s right-wing Progress Party (FrP).
The FrP’s third deputy, Aina Stenersen, claims the full-body swimsuits worn by some Muslim women are “a symbol of radical Islam”. The Progress Party is in the process of formulating a new party manifesto, and the burkini ban is expected to be included.
The ban has come under criticism from many both inside and outside France those who think it is intolerant. The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “I don’t think anyone should tell women what they can and can’t wear.”
Campaigners also held a beach party outside London’s French embassy to protest what they called the “ludicrous” ban.
However, Ms Stenerson told Aftenposten: “Burkinis certainly should not be allowed on beaches in Norway”.
She claims a number of French towns were correct to introduce a ban.
“The prohibition of burkinis in France was introduced as a reaction to the terrorist attack in Nice. I think it’s great that the police are following it up.”
The FrP does, however, believe the fine faced by those who wear burkinis in France is too lenient. Ms Stenersen intends to double the charge to around 500 kroner, which is equivalent to £57.
The Progress Party holds 29 of the 169 seats in the Norwegian Stortinget, but is in a ruling coalition with the Conservative Party.
Ms Stenersen maintained her party “is very concerned about integration. Therefore, we believe that in some instances, we must implement bans if it concerns things that inhibit integration.
“We are, for example, for private schools, but in Oslo, we still said no to the establishment of a Muslim school.”
Diane James, the favourite to be the next Ukip leader, however, has refused “to start criticising the French.”
In France, a legal challenge to the burqini ban has been launched, with the country’s highest administrative court set to rule on it.
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