As much as the Bikini vs Burkini clash is being portrayed as a religious one following the Saida public beach incident, the real problem is the absence of the rule of law and the incompetence of the municipalities and ministries handling such matters.
We all know Saida has unfortunately taken a more conservative path in the last 20 years or so, with few extreme religious groups popping left and right, but Saida has always been a symbol of co-existence between its Christian and Muslim residents and it’s up to the municipality in place to enforce this status or bow to the backwardness of some groups. Tyre is not very different from Saida demographically speaking but we don’t see such issues on its beaches. Same for some Tripoli beaches. Just to be clear here, municipalities in more “open” cities in Lebanon that ban Burkinis on public beaches, even though I haven’t heard of such cases yet, are no different from the Saida municipality as we are all governed by the rule of law that grants ALL Lebanese access to public resorts.
If a woman chooses to swim in her burkini on a public beach, as long as it’s her choice and her choice only, no one should forbid her from doing so under any pretext.
This being said, Saida Municipality seems determined to maintain its backwardness status and has banned bikinis and alcohol on its public beach. You can’t blame them really since the city is flourishing economically, touristically and has no other priorities whatsoever to take care of except the concerns of backward-thinking men who need to remind women how to dress and where to swim.
It’s all about priorities after all 😂.