The manufacture and sale of burkas – the full-face Muslim veils – has been banned by Morocco for security reasons, according to local media reports.
As reported by the Agence France-Presse (AFP), there was no official announcement by authorities in the North African nation, only reports saying the interior ministry order 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 site 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 prefer the hijab headscarf that does not cover the face, while the niqab, which leaves the area around the eyes uncovered, is also worn in Salafist circles and in more conservative regions in the north, from where thousands of jihadists have gone to fight in Syria and Iraq.