Morocco bans burqa over security concerns

Shopkeepers must get rid of their stock of Islamic veils within 48 hours

Harriet Agerholm
Tuesday 10 January 2017 20:48 GMT
Moroccan authorities did not officially announce the ban
Moroccan authorities did not officially announce the ban (Getty)

Morocco has banned burqas from being made or sold because of security concerns, the country's media has reported.

Although the government did not issue a formal announcement of the move, reports have emerged of burqa producers and retailers being issued written warnings telling them to stop making and selling the garments.

The ban is understood to apply only to full-face covering burqas. The majority of Muslim women in the country wear headscarves without the veil, or niqab.

"We have taken the step of completely banning the import, manufacture and marketing of this garment in all the cities and towns of the kingdom," the Moroccan Le360 news site quoted a senior interior ministry official as saying.

The site speculated the move seemed to be motivated by security concerns, "since bandits have repeatedly used this garment to perpetrate their crimes".

A picture has been circulated online of a notice sent by a representative of the Interior Ministry to shopkeepers, who have been told their burqa stock will be confiscated if they fail to get rid of their burqa stock or convert it within 48 hours, it will be confiscated Morocco World News reports.

The ban has elicited varied responses, with some Moroccans calling the ban "pathetic" and others welcoming it, claiming the burqa is alien to Moroccan culture.

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