MOROCCO has banned the making and selling of burqas 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.
King Mohammed favours a moderate version of Islam and most women prefer the hijab, the headscarf that does not cover the face.
"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 Moroccan Le360 news site quoted a senior interior ministry official as saying.
The site speculated the move seemed to be motivated by security concerns, "since bandits have repeatedly used this garment to perpetrate their crimes".
A picture has been circulated online of a notice sent by a representative of the Interior Ministry to shopkeepers, who have been told their burqa stock will be confiscated if they fail to get rid of it or convert it within 48 hours, Morocco World News reported.
The ban has had varied responses, with some calling it pathetic and others welcoming it, saying the burqa is alien to Morocco culture. - INM