Rabat - A group of Moroccan women who wear the burqa gathered Sunday at the United Nations Square in Casablanca in order to denounce the Ministry of Interior's decision in January prohibit the sale and manufacture of the burqa.
Rabat – A group of Moroccan women who wear the burqa gathered Sunday at the United Nations Square in Casablanca in order to denounce the Ministry of Interior’s decision in January prohibit the sale and manufacture of the burqa.
Organized by the “Joint Committee for the Defense of Islamist Detainees,” the protestors chanted slogans against the Ministry’s decision, calling a “disregard for Moroccans and contrary to the law and the constitution.”
The protesters also said that the decision was “an excess of power,” adding that “the maker of this decision should be held accountable.”
Speaking on behalf the protestors, one of the women said, “We will continue wearing this garment that has appeared in Morocco two years ago,”calling on the authorities “to recruit female officers to monitor women in case there was a doubt about a woman’s garment.”
While the ban was announced without justification, it is widely suspected to have been motivated by security concerns.
“We challenge the Minister of Interior and we cannot give up wearing the niqab,” she added. “We call on the ministry to get rid of this decision.” (The ministry’s decision only banned the burqa, not the niqab.)
The protest in Casablanca follows similar demonstrations held in January opposite the parliament in Rabat following the announcement of the ban.
The ban created controversy on social media. On his Facebook page, Salafi sheikh Mohamed Fizazi compared the burqa to contemporary fashion like torn jeans and miniskirts, saying that “the burqa is a cultural symbol belonging to countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Arabian Peninsula.”
“In Morocco and in the North of Africa in general, women have their own style in wearing the hijab, which is the actual style that represents Morocco’s social and religious culture,” he added.
Following the January decision, a group of ministry representatives raided burqa stores to enforce the ban.