The suspension of the burkini ban may start to heal France’s social rifts

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Friday 26 August 2016 17:36 BST
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I applaud France's highest court for upholding the country’s principles of liberty, egalitarianism and fraternity. The suspension of the ban on burkinis is a step in the right direction to heal religious, racial and ethnic rifts in a country that is still reeling from the repercussions of terrorist attacks. That ban was not only counterproductive but was bound to stir social marginalisation and ostracise Muslim women at a time when we should all be united to defeat the spectres of extremism and terrorism. It is high time to start tackling economic and social causes that act as recruiting sergeants for violence.

Munjed Farid Al Qutob London

I am reminded by the bizarre burkini ban in France that the French have prior form in prescribed bathing attire, with “health” reasons cited as part of the ruling. Many years ago I was advised that males were not allowed to wear swimming shorts in pools, brief trunks only were permitted. Mumbles were made about health and cleanliness, but I can't for the life of me imagine what may or may not happen in shorts that is not the case with trunks. Can anyone elucidate? Vive la difference indeed.

Rick Biddulph Farnham

Horror in the countryside

Mark Richards seems to be using the faulty principle which states that, because many others are suffering, the suffering of one does not matter (Letters, 25 August).

The slaughter of badgers is yet another horror spreading across our countryside, alongside illegal fox, hare and deer hunting (all of which are rife), illegal poisoning of raptors, unfettered use of snares etc. Because farm animals suffer so dreadfully as well, this does not mean we should be uncaring about the suffering of wildlife.

For farm animals and wildlife, their only hope of protection is for the public to be sufficiently cognisant of the facts to make sure they vote only for MPs who will stand up to the powerful barbarians of the bloodsports and farming communities.

Penny Little Great Haseley

The true will of the party

John McDonnell is a splendid man, but he holds quaint (or are they revolutionary?) ideas about fairness and democracy (John McDonnell accuses Labour HQ of “rigged purge” against Jeremy Corbyn supporters, 26 August). He complains about an unfair inconsistency regarding which Labour Party members are being denied a vote, but the criterion is pretty consistent: suspend wherever possible if likely to vote for Corbyn. That harmonises with democracy when, to misquote Brecht, members have "forfeited the confidence of the party hierarchy", as they did last year by voting in Corbyn. At least the hierarchy has not dissolved the membership completely, but has revealed the "true will" of the party, given that many members are blind to that will.

Peter Cave London

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