From the Daily Mail
An attack on a woman in France because she wore a bikini in a public park has sparked outrage on social media. The 21-year-old victim, who has been named as Angelique Sloss, was beaten up by a gang of reportedly Muslim young women – aged between 16 and 24 – when she was sunbathing with two friends.
Protesters wearing bikinis and swimsuits held a rally at the park, in the northern city of Reims, yesterday despite rain and cold winds. Hundreds across France joined the campaign on Twitter, posting photos of themselves wearing swimsuits in public places. Spectators have likened the campaign to the JeSuisCharlie Twitter campaign, following the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris in January.
The attack took place on Wednesday at Parc Leo-Lagrange.
All five women were arrested after the attack, with the eldest three – named in French newspapers as Ines Nouri, Zohra Karim and Hadoune Tadjouri – set to appear in court in September. The 16-year-old and 17-year-old involved in the attack remain anonymous.
French police said the attackers came from housing estates with large Muslim populations. This has sparked assumptions that the attack was religiously-motivated, and the incident is being held up by some right-wing observers as proof that radical Islamic ideas pose a threat to French values.
The Mayor of Reims, Arnaud Robinet, said: ‘We have to be very careful not to jump to conclusions. All the same, I can understand why people have assumed that this attack had religious motives. If that turns out to be the case, it is a very serious incident.’
One of the group is reported to have shouted at the woman for ‘immorally’ exposing so much flesh in public. The woman responded and the group attacked her, slapping and punching her.
Police told L’Union newspaper that they couldn’t confirm whether the attack was motivated by ‘religious opinions’