The Facebook account of Philippe Marlière, a Professor of French and European politics at the University College London was suspended after he published an article defending women’s right to wear burkini.

On 26 August 2016, the political scientist Marlière saw his Facebook account suspended after he posted his article in Contretemps, the French journal of communist critique, in which he defended women’s right to dress as they wish including the to wear burkini. The article dealt with recent controversies on the burkini ban in French ports and refuted the arguments that justify racist and sexist attacks against Muslim women.

Marlière’s friends and colleagues created a Facebook group, “Avec Philippe Marlière contre l’islamophobie !” (Support Philippe Marlière against Islamophobia), in order to demand the return of his account. The group reached over a thousand supporters.

Facebook returned Marlière’s account on 31 August 2016. He posted a message on the Facebook group and said the suspension of his account by Facebook is a serious breach of “free speech”.

“I’ve been suspended on the week when I was severely criticizing the issue of burkini ban. It’s weird because when I speak of social democracy or the last piece of theatre I’ve seen, I’m never suspended.” he said. He also added that a Facebook employee he contacted told him that his account was suspended after “many people had requested”.