International

Burqini ban ‘protest’: Italian Imam’s Facebook blocked for nuns beach pic

beach-nun

The Imam of Florence, Izzeddin Elzir, has stirred a controversy after he shared an image on Facebook of habit-wearing nuns on the beach, only to find his Facebook account blocked the next day.

An Italian imam had posted images of nuns in an indirect criticism of recent bans on “burqinis”. “I just wanted to get people to stop and and think. That’s why I posted the photo alone, without writing a single word,” explained the imam, a Florentine by the name of Izzedin Elzir.

“I didn’t want to take sides but rather to spur a healthy debate.”

Elzir, who is also president of the Union of Italian Islamic Communities, said [about his Facebook account suspension] that it was “incomprehensible”, reported the La Repubblica.

The image of nun on the beach was shared by Italian Imam Izzeddin Elzir in a veiled criticism on burqini ban

The image of nun on the beach was shared by Italian Imam Izzeddin Elzir in a veiled criticism on burqini ban

“I have to send them an ID document to reactivate it. They wanted to make sure it’s my account – it’s a very strange procedure.”

The Facebook account was reactivated on Friday morning, and Elzir said he hoped that the affair wasn’t because of the photo he posted. “We live in a society of law and freedom,” he said.

The account didn’t break any Facebook policies and no content triggered the suspension. As soon as the mistake was known, the account was reinstated.

Reportedly Facebook have also apologised for any inconvenience Elzir might have experienced.

The burkini bans have triggered a fierce debate about the wearing of the full-body swimsuit, women’s rights and the French state’s strictly-guardedsecularism.

The so-called burkini bans never actually mention the word burkini, although they are aimed at the garment which covers the hair but leaves the face visible and stretches down to the ankles.

The vague wording of the prohibitions has also caused confusion.

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