Morocco has prohibited the production and sale of the burqa – the full face veil – worn by some Muslim women due to “security reasons”, according to local news agencies.
While there has been no official statement by the Moroccan on this matter, the reports said the interior ministry order would take effect later this week.
“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 Le360 news site quoted a high-ranking interior ministry official as saying yesterday.
It said the measure appeared to be motivated by security concerns, “since bandits have repeatedly used this garment to perpetrate their crimes”.
Majority of Muslim women in Morocco wear the hijab and the abaya, which does not cover the face.
In some commercial districts of Casablanca, the country’s economic capital, interior ministry officials on Monday conducted “awareness-raising campaigns with traders to inform them of this new decision”, the Media 24 website said.
In Taroudant in southern Morocco, authorities ordered traders to stop making and selling burqas and to dispose of their stock within 48 hours, the reports claim.
Retailers in the northern town of Ouislane were said to have received similar instructions.
The reports were met with a muted response in the absence of official confirmation.
The High Council of Ulama, the country’s highest religious authority, has yet to comment on the issue of banning the burqa.
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