Morocco Bans Burka

Morocco has banned the production and sale of full-face veils apparently for security reasons.

The burka is more commonly worn in conservative Muslim societies such as Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Foreign Office says there is a “high risk” of terror attacks in Morocco, a popular tourist destination that sees up to 600,00 British visitors each year.

Most women in Morocco, whose King Mohammed VI favours a moderate version of Islam, prefer the hijab, or headscarf, which does not cover the face.

The niqab, which leaves the area around the eyes uncovered, is also worn in more conservative regions in the north, from where thousands of fighters have gone to fight in Syria and Iraq.

In some commercial districts of Casablanca, the country’s economic capital, interior ministry officials on Monday conducted “awareness-raising campaigns with traders to inform them of this new decision”.

In Taroudant, in southern Morocco, authorities ordered traders to stop making and selling burqas and to liquidate their stock within 48 hours.

Morocco plans to follow in the footsteps of some European countries, such as France and Belgium, where it is illegal to wear full veils in public.

The ban has divided Moroccans – while some Salafist Muslim groups have strongly criticised the move, others say it is justified as the burka oppresses women.