U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

AP EXPLAINS: Why burkini swimsuits are causing controversy

PARIS (AP) — French mayors are drawing international anger for banning the burkini, an all-encompassing swimsuit worn by a small minority of Muslim women. The Associated Press explains the core of the controversy. WHAT ARE BURKINIS? They're a recent retail invention, not a religious requirement in any country. Around a decade ago an Australian woman of Lebanese origin created a swimsuit for Muslim women designed to permit them to keep their bodies covered while working as lifeguards on Australian beaches. Her design was dubbed the burkini or burqini. Burkinis cover the head, torso and limbs — much like a wetsuit with a hood. The word conflates the words bikini and burqa, a...