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France's High Court Strikes Down Burkini Ban

As the United States has discovered in its own fight against terrorism, it can be difficult to combat militant extremists while preserving human rights. 

The beaches of the French Riviera are the latest front in that struggle. On Friday, France's high court struck down the so-called burkini ban—a restriction on certain types of modest swimwear worn by some Muslim women. 

In the wake of several terror attacks across France in recent months, 30 cities and towns, including Nice and Cannes, had adopted the policy; proponents argue that the swimwear is a sign of Islamic extremism.

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Human rights advocates countered that the ban was an example of secularism run amok—similar to France's 2011 law (which is still on the books) prohibiting full face and body coverings.

In rejecting the burkini ban, the court ruled that it "seriously and clearly illegally breached fundamental freedoms to come and go, freedom of beliefs and individual freedom."

The decision only applies to the seaside village of Villeneuve-Loubet, but is expected to set a precedent throughout the country.

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