Morocco has banned burqas from being manufactured or sold, speculated to be for security reasons. Shopkeepers have been given written notices to get rid of their burqa stock within 48 hours.
Although it has not been formally announced by the government, reports have said that shopkeepers and burqa manufacturers have been given written warnings to stop manufacturing or selling burqas within 48 hours.
A picture of the written notice from the Interior Ministry to shopkeepers has been circulating online. According to Morocco World reports, the notice reads that shopkeepers are required to get rid of their burqa stock within 48 hours, or they would be confiscated.
The ban only applies to the “full face covering” burqas and not the hair-covering headscarves that the majority of Muslim women in the country.
“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 senior interior ministry official said, according to the Moroccan Le360 news site.
The news site speculates that this instruction has been given for security reasons “since bandits have repeatedly used this garment to perpetrate their crimes.” There has been no information as to whether this production and sale ban will be extended to women wearing the burqa.
The ban has received various responses from the Moroccan people. Some Moroccans have called the ban “pathetic”, while others have welcomed it, saying the burqa is foreign to Moroccan culture.
Morocco, which is a Muslim-majority country, alongside other muslim-majority countries, has been trying to encourage more moderate practices of Islam, warning against the dangers of extremist expressions of religion. Extremist religious belief remains rare in the country.
The Interior Ministry did not respond to any requests to comment on the ban.