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Morocco 'prohibits the trade and production of the burka'

Morocco 'prohibits the trade and production of the burka'

Morocco is reportedly preparing to introduce a ban on burqa imports and sales because of security fears.

The North African country's interior ministry is said to be cracking down on burqas due to reports that terrorists have been wearing them when carrying out attacks.

Copies of the letter sent by Morocco's Ministry of Interior circulated on social networks, and a high-ranking ministry official confirmed the ban to the local Moroccan news website Le360, saying "bandits have repeatedly used this garment to perpetrate their crime". Women living in Salafist circles, and in more conventional areas in the north, are more likely to put on the niqab, which exposes the area around the eyes. Past year in September, the Bulgarian parliament banned the burqa in a similar bid to boost security in the wake of various terrorist attacks in Europe.

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.

Nouzha Skalli, the previous family and social development minister, appreciated the ban as "an important step in the fight against religious extremism".

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The French National Front party (FN) is lauding the latest decision of Morocco's Ministry of Interior to prohibit the sale and production of the burqa in Morocco.

The garment is not widely worn in the country, with most Muslim Moroccan women preferring the hijab, and Morocco's King Mohammed VI embraces a moderate version of Islam.

In 2011, France, with its large Muslim population, was the first nation to ban women from wearing face-covering veils in public, followed by Belgium three months later.

It is unclear whether the ban, which is linked to security concerns as the burka fully conceals the wearer's face, extends to wearing the burka in public places.

Hammad Kabbadj, a conservative preacher and member of the Justice and Development Party who was not allowed to run in last fall's legislative elections in which his party prevailed because he was deemed too "extremist", denounced the ban on his Facebook page.


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