Morocco bans burqa over security concerns

Jan 12, 2017

By Harriet Agerholm

Morocco has banned burqas from being made or sold because of security concerns, the country’s media has reported.

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.

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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4 comments on “Morocco bans burqa over security concerns

  • Also, on the other side of the Med:-

    Austria’s ruling coalition has agreed to prohibit full-face veils in public spaces such as courts and schools.

    It is also considering a more general ban on state employees wearing the headscarf and other religious symbols.

    The measures are seen as an attempt to counter the rise of the far-right Freedom Party, whose candidate narrowly lost last month’s presidential vote.

    The centrist coalition nearly collapsed last week amid crisis negotiations over the government’s future direction.

    Detailing the package of reforms, the coalition devoted just two lines to the planned ban on the Islamic niqab and burqa.

    “We are committed to an open society, which also presupposes open communication. A full-face veil in public places stands in its way and will therefore be banned,” it said.

    An estimated 150 women wear the full niqab in Austria but tourism officials have expressed fears that the measures will also deter visitors from the Gulf.

    Several European countries have imposed similar bans but the Austrian move is, according to the vice chancellor a “symbolic” step.

    Integration Minister Sebastian Kurz said it was important to be seen to be neutral, especially for anyone dealing with the public in the police or schools.

    France and Belgium introduced a burqa ban in 2011 and a similar measure is currently going through the Dutch parliament.

    Chancellor Angela Merkel said last month that the full-face veil should be prohibited in Germany “wherever it is legally possible”.
    The UK does not ban the niqab or burqa.

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  • Meanwhile other hidden problems with Islamic culture keep coming to light!

    A case of female genital mutilation (FGM) is either discovered or treated at a medical appointment in England every hour, a charity has said.

    Plan International UK said statistics showed there were 8,656 times when a girl or woman was assessed at a doctor’s surgery or hospital.

    Charity boss Tanya Barron said: “These figures are once again a reminder of the global prevalence of FGM.”

    An estimated 200 million women and girls worldwide are affected.
    Protection orders

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the practice of FGM includes “the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons”.

    The NHS figures analysed were between April 2015 and March 2016. They show a patient was assessed on average every 61 minutes. Among those who attended, a case of FGM is newly recorded every 92 minutes on average.

    This means a woman or girl has their case recorded by the NHS for the first time, although in many cases they will have been cut some years before but it has not come to the attention of doctors sooner, the charity said.

    Avon and Somerset Police has led use of FGM protection orders (FGMPO) nationally. The orders were brought in to protect potential victims. It has applied for 10 FGMPOs since July 2015, when legislation was brought in.

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  • Further to #2

    The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Belgium’s ban on face veils does not violate the European Convention on Human Rights.

    It was a ruling in a case brought by two women who wanted to wear the niqab veil, which covers all but the eyes.

    Belgium banned the wearing of partial or total face veils in public in 2011.

    The court agreed that the ban sought to guarantee the concept of “living together” and the “protection of the rights and freedoms of others”.

    The court came to a similar judgement on Tuesday in the case of a Belgian woman who was contesting a bylaw brought in by three Belgian municipalities in 2008 that also banned face veils.

    The European Court of Human Rights is an international court set up in 1959 and rules on individual or state applications alleging violations of the civil and political rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights.

    Belgian MPs approved the ban in 2011 on the grounds of security, to allow police to identify people, although some also argued the veil was a symbol of the oppression of women.

    The latest case brought against Belgium was filed by Belgian national Samia Belcacemi, who lives in Schaerbeek, and Moroccan national Yamina Oussar, who lives in Liège.

    Ms Belcacemi removed her veil fearing she might be fined or jailed, while Ms Oussar opted to stay at home, curtailing her social life, the court noted.

    In its ruling, the court took into consideration a previous ruling it had made in a similar case brought against France over its imposition of a veil ban.

    It noted: “The court found that the concern to ensure respect for the minimum guarantees of life in society could be regarded as an element of the ‘protection of the rights and freedoms of others’ and that the ban was justifiable in principle, solely to the extent that it sought to guarantee the conditions of ‘living together’.”

    In the second case, the court made a similar ruling against the application brought by Belgian national Fouzia Dakir against the ban imposed by the municipalities of Pepinster, Dison and Verviers in 2008.

    In March, Europe’s top court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ), ruled that workplace bans on the wearing of “any political, philosophical or religious sign” such as headscarves need not constitute direct discrimination.

    However, it said such bans must be based on internal company rules requiring all employees to “dress neutrally”.

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