Two families out cycling and rollerblading in Toulon, southern France, were violently attacked on Sunday by a group of youths because the women in the group were wearing shorts, according to prosecutors. The incident has incited claims that parts of France are vulnerable to an Islamist “morality police.”
Two couples, their three children and a friend were passing public housing when the “incredibly violent” attack occurred, according to local newspaper Var Matin. A group of teenagers allegedly began to insult the women because of their attire, calling out “Dirty whore, get naked.” A physical fight broke out when the women’s partners attempted to intervene, according to Toulon prosecutor Bernard Marchal.
“The male partners had simply asked them to respect their women and that sparked the fight. The three men were violently beaten on the face in front of their children. This was provocation of a sexual nature with the intention of forcing a reaction out of the men present,” Marchal said.
The attack follows a similar incident a month ago, in which an 18-year-old girl was spat at and verbally abused by a group of girls who judged her shorts to be indecent. The victim, Maude Vallet, posted a photo of herself to Facebook with the caption, “Hello, I’m a slut” (“Bonjour, je suis une salope”) that was reacted to by more than 80,000 people.
A solidarity “march in shorts” was later held around the town.
Celine Pina, a former regional councillor for the Paris area, warned in a piece for Le Figaro newspaper the Islamist violence against women was growing in France. “The burkini question, the rise of the full veil, the attack on women in shorts and beating up their partners contributes to the same logic, namely to turn a woman’s body into a social and political issue, a litmus test of the advance of an ideology within society,” she wrote.
Read the full story at The Telegraph.