Morocco has banned the production and sale of burkas, apparently for security reasons, media reports said today.
While there was no official announcement by authorities in the North African nation, the reports said the interior ministry order on the loose garments, which cover the whole body, would take effect this week.
“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,” the Le360 news website quoted a high-ranking interior ministry official as saying.
It said the measure appeared to be motivated by security concerns, “since bandits have repeatedly used this garment to perpetrate their crimes”.
Most women in Morocco, whose King Mohammed VI favours a moderate version of Islam, prefer the hijab headscarf that does not cover the face.
The niqab, which leaves the area around the eyes uncovered, is also worn in Salafist circles.