The Moroccan government is banning the production and sale of burqas. Although the government has not yet published an official statement outlining the specifics of the ban, last week letters announcing the ban were sent out to vendors who were given only 48 hours to rid themselves of their stock, said local news reports.
Morocco is a Muslim majority country which is highly secular and Western in nature. Few women in Morocco wear burqa, and it is said that the government of King Mohammed VI wanted to institute the ban to warn against acts of extremism.
Reports also said that the the measure may have been prompted because of security reasons, since the burqa can be used as a decoy in public places.
“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,” a high ranking official said, according to local news site Le360.
Not surprisingly, the move has met with much criticism, with many saying that such moves suppress religious freedom. Others say that the burqa was a symbol of oppression and support its ban. Here are a few reactions:
No authority in the world has the right to impose a dress code on a woman or a man for their everyday life,” said columnist Abdellah Tourabion his Facebook page.
Morocco isn’t the first country which has wanted to ban the burqa. In December last year, Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, said that the full face veil must be banned. wherever it is legally possible. Speaking at the conference, she said, “We have to show our face during personal communication. It is important and that is why a full veil is not appropriate here. It should be forbidden, wherever that is legally possible. It does not belong to us.”
France, with had banned the burqa in 2011, was under fire again when a photograph of armed policeman, asking a lady to take off part of her burqini, went viral last August.