The North African nation of Morocco in a developing step reportedly banned the import, manufacturing and marketing of the burqa. The Moroccan news reported the country’s interior ministry issued written warnings to the burqa producers and retailers and ordered to cease the making and selling of Islamic burqa (full-face covering burqa).
They further instructed the traders to get rid of the burqa stocks within 48 hours. There was no official announcement from the government but the officials told the decision was taken due to “security concerns”.
An interior-ministry official told the Le360 news site that “bandits have repeatedly used this garment to perpetrate their crimes”. “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.”
Another website said the country’s economic capital, the commercial districts of Casablanca interior ministry officials carried out “awareness-raising campaigns with traders to inform them of this new decision.”
In Morocco, the full veil is not widely used. Most women favour hijab headscarves which does not cover the face. In more conservative regions in the North and in Salafist circles, women mostly prefer niqab, which leaves the area around the eyes uncovered.
The ban comes after Moroccan media alleged that CIA alerted its authorities that the North African country is vulnerable to Berlin and Nice style attacks.
The burqa ban split opinions in the country. A preacher Hammad Kabbaj alleged the ban as “unacceptable”. He mocked the “Morocco of freedom and human rights” which “considers the wearing of the Western swimsuit on the beaches an untouchable right”.
Salafist sheikh Hassan Kettani wrote on Facebook: “Is Morocco moving towards banning the niqab that Muslim women have worn for five centuries?” He added, “If true it would be a disaster.”
But lawmaker Nouzha Skalli, a former family and social development minister welcomed the ban as “an important step in the fight against religious extremism”.