Moroccan government aims at stepping up national security by banning the full veil; hijabs still allowed.

The government of Morocco has taken its fight against Islamic extremism to a new height by banning the full veil all across the country. So far, no formal rule has been there forcing women to wear the full veil. Muslim women in Morocco have only been wearing the hijab without covering their faces. However, the full veil has been followed by women in more conservative regions of the African country.

A number of ISIS fighters can be traced to these conservative regions of Morocco. The Moroccan King, however, is a moderate Muslim and doesn’t support more conservative and extremist Islamic laws. He has often been criticized by conservative Muslims for his moderate views. In fact, the King, Mohammed VI, denounced Islamic terrorists in a speech last year, insisting that they weren’t real Muslims and did not have any link to Islam. He even said that those who used Islam as an excuse to spread violence and hatred would find themselves in hell.

Moroccan garment stores and merchants have received letters from the government giving them 48 hours to get rid of veils and full burqas. The government has also warned them from involving in the trade of full burqas in the future. It’s understood that the idea behind the ban is to prevent terror activities and for other security reasons. However, only a few Muslim women do actually don the full veil.

Moroccans are divided over the ban with the moderates saying that the government’s decision was a good one and the conservatives calling it an attack on freedom.  Of the conservative groups, the Salafists are the most outspoken against the government’s moderate views. Saida Drissi, chairman of the Democratic Association of the Women of Morocco slams the critics of the ban asking how they can call it an attack on freedom when forcing women to wear the full burqa was itself an attack on the freedom of women. She also added that telling a woman what she should wear is the real attack on freedom, and not banning such a practice.

Although a number of terrorists and militants could be traced to Morocco, the kingdom itself has been relatively untouched by terror activities compared to other North-African countries, thanks to the nation’s stringent actions in checking such activities. The government’s view has been seen as yet another positive step in cracking down terror networks by introducing yet another rule that will prevent extremists from taking cover in public areas. 

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter