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Wednesday, 11 January 2017
Morocco bans burqa over security concerns
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This is from the Independent, from where it has entered the British press; they got it from the Morocco World news. Where there is doubt, and this is in the Moroccan press as well, is what the Moroccan government mean by 'burqa'. Some British newspapers use the term burqa/burka to mean any Islamic veil which covers the majority of the face. The Moroccan newspaper are taking it to be the garment associated with Afghanistan, where the whole face and upper body is covered, including the eyes which peer through a thick mesh. They believe that the prefered face veil in North Africa, the niqab which covers mouth, chin and nose but leaves the eyes uncovered is still permitted.
But there is also a mask that covers the nose called a burqa that is favoured by women in Oman and the Gulf (and some parts of Turkey and Southern Iraq, although I read that its use is now confined to older woman). Morocco is a way west of those areas but maybe that is what the authoritys mean? Pictures of the Omani Burqa here

Rabat –  Tailors and retailers across Morocco have reportedly received notices from the Interior Ministry, urging them to stop the sale of burqas. 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.

Representatives of the Interior Ministry visited markets to inform both sellers and tailors to stop the production and sale of the burqa and hand-deliver the written notices.

A picture currently being circulated on social media platforms, shows a copy of the notice that was sent by El Basha, a representative of the Interior Ministry, saying “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.”

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

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

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.

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Posted on 01/11/2017 6:38 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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