Corsica brawl: Five hurt in clashes on French beach


A beach brawl on the French island of Corsica between three families of North African descent and local youths has left five people injured and three cars burnt out, regional prosecutors


The brawl on Saturday began after the families objected to photos being taken, witnesses say. Stones and bottles were thrown.

Reports say some of the brawlers were armed with hatchets and harpoons.

Unrest continued on Sunday at a protest in the regional capital.

The head of the regional executive, Gilles Simeoni, has appealed for calm.

The incident took place on a creek near the village of Sisco, Upper Corsica.

Tension has grown this summer between local communities and Muslims of North African origin in the south of France, especially following the massacre of 85 people by a lorry driver in the city of Nice on 14 July.

Oh, good old offended French Muslim people. (Sarcasm)


The island has had incidents of late with Muslim places of worship attacked and vandalised, I find that just as foul as if someone attacked a Church or Synagogue.


Of course, it is wrong to vandalize anybody’s place of worship, whether it’s Muslim or Jewish or Christian, etc. I’m simply highlighting the fact that some Muslims got offended over people taking photos of them. (I bolded that in the quote, Post #2.)


Aye, grand so.


North African refugees are making life miserable for the inhabitants of many Mediterranean islands. Sooner or later the locals are going to have enough of arrogant aliens on there door step and it’s going to turn violent.


More precisely, the photos being taken were of women wearing burkinis.

I am not sure of the laws in France, but here in the US anyone in a public space can be photographed by strangers without giving permission. It is considered rude to not ask, and it can be extremely offensive, depending upon how it is done. Offensive to the point of violence? Cameras and cell phones have been grabbed and smashed, sometimes leading to brawls.

Are Muslims overly sensitive about women being photographed on the beach? Maybe, but the modesty of women in Muslim culture seems to be more prized than in the West.There is a sense that women need to be protected from lecherous eyes. How would you feel if you discovered a stranger taking photographs of your child while you shopped?

As JharekCarnelian pointed out, Corsica has had a recent history of anti-Muslim violence. I think a single incident may be hard to understand without knowing the deeper context.

At any rate, according to the news article I posted, the beach where this brawl took place no longer allows the burkini to be worn. Whether that will eliminate a potential flashpoint, or whether it will aggravate existing tensions, I don’t know.


NY Times:

That there is no clear definition of what qualifies as a burkini, and that Muslim women have complained of being singled out on beaches even when covered by other kinds of garments, has raised the question of whether the increasing number of bans are meant to signal France’s demand for conformity with its non-Muslim majority or are genuinely part of France’s culture of laïcité, or secularism in public life.


The reality is far less clear, and in fact the presence of burkinis could be taken as a sign that at least some French Muslims have a relatively liberal stance, said Marwan Muhammad, the executive director of the Center Against Islamophobia in France. In conservative Muslim countries, women would never go to a beach with men, much less go swimming, since even in the burkini the wet cloth sticks to a woman’s body, outlining her curves.
“This is a good news in a way because it means Muslim women who didn’t used to enjoy that day at the beach or at the pool are now taking part, they are socializing,” he said.

The last bit is interesting. Banning the burkini will mean these women won’t be able to go to the beach at all.
But the main problem is that France’s secularism is the state religion that will brook no competition thus the bans on religious headgear (hijabs, kippahs, turbans), religious medals and now burkinis. Maybe French Muslim women could get around the ban by wearing 19th cent. swimwear.


It is hard to ascertain the exact details of the events from the story. We can read between the lines but we may still be missing all the details. With that being said, whenever I travel I try to be respectful of the culture of the area I am in. I don’t try to go in and make locals accept “my values”. I want to be respected of course but I realize I am a “visitor”. I don’t expect them to make everything “American” to accommodate me.

I assume that the island of Corsica has a long standing history of French and Corsican traditions and ways of interacting with others. It is brash I think that these North Africans go there and try to have everyone conform to their way of doing things. Theiir job should be to assimilate into the existing society if they want to live there, not form their own little country within a country.

Could not an explaination to others and a request not to photograph them been extended. Does it warrant violence?

closed #10

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit