Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Morocco Bans the Sale of Burqas

According to the news site lesiteinfo.com burqa producers and retailers have been issued written warnings to cease making and/or selling the garment. They have been further instructed to get rid of their burqa stock or convert it within 48 hours. If they fail to comply manufactures will risk confiscation of all their goods

Representatives of the Interior Ministry have visited markets and hand-delivered notices to inform both sellers and tailors to stop the production and sale of the burqa. In Morocco the term "burqa" is also used to describe the niqab

A photograph of the notice is also circulating on social media. It is said to have been sent by "El Basha", a representative of the Interior Ministry,

The note informs the tailor or merchant that... “following the observations of the authorities, we notice that you sell burqas – so, we are calling on you to get rid of the products of this outfit within 48 hours and to refrain from selling it in the future.”

A senior official at the Ministry of Interior was quoted by Moroccan news outlet Le360 as saying “We have taken measures to completely ban the import, manufacture and marketing of this garment in all cities and towns in the kingdom,”

Morocco is not alone in bringing in a burqa ban. A draft law has been written in Egypt, while Chad banned women from wearing the full-face veil following two suicide bomb attacks in June 2015. There are similar bans in parts of Cameroon and Niger as well as Congo-Brazzaville and the Gabon.

In Fez women told The View From Fez that they supported the ban. "I don't feel safe when I see someone wearing a burqa," said thirty-two year old Fatima Zahra, "You don't know if they are a salafist and that causes problems for me."

If the ban is implemented there will certainly be a negative reaction from fundamentalists. However, Morocco's police and security officers will be see it as a way of improving public security. Authorities have not formally explained this measure and have not said if the wearing of the burqa would be prohibited.

Another news site suggested that the restrictions might only apply to Casablanca, but security sources responded that it applied to the whole country


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