Although the controversy over the burkini ban is far from over, leaders of France’s Muslim community hope that Monday’s conference will help decisively turn the page on the issue now that the ban has been overturned in at least one town.
“This positive step will bring an end to the nauseating story of the burkini,” said Anouar Kbibech, president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith.
The talks will be held at the interior ministry in Paris, where religious leaders, community leaders and lawmakers will hold a series of meetings aimed at establishing a better “foundation for Islam in France”.
Speaking to French daily La Croix on Sunday, Cazeneuve reiterated the government’s opposition to legislating on the controversial matter which has sparked fierce debate both at home and abroad about women’s rights and France’s strictly guarded secularism.
Rightwing figures are pushing for a nationwide ban to be written into law, led by former president Nicolas Sarkozy, who this week launched his bid to regain the presidency in next year’s election.