Sri Lanka announced today, Saturday, the imposition of a ban on the burqa and the closure of more than a thousand Islamic schools in the country. According to the Associated Press.
“The burqa has a direct impact on national security,” Public Security Minister Sarath Weerasikara said of the dress worn by some Muslim women.
He added, “It is a sign of the religious extremism that has emerged recently. We will definitely ban it.”
Weerasekara said he signed a paper on Friday submitting the burqa procedure to the cabinet for approval. He also touched upon the closure of Islamic schools, pointing out that they do not adhere to the national education policy, he said Reuters.
According to the US Department of State 2018 Report on international religious freedom in Sri Lanka, The island country in South Asia officially recognizes four religions: Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and Christianity.
The country has a population of 9.7 percent of Muslims, compared to 70.2 percent of Buddhists, 12.6 percent of Hindus, and 7.4 percent of Christians.
The report states that government officials in Sri Lanka practiced “systematic discrimination against religious minorities, especially Muslims and converts to” free “(non-sectarian and evangelical) Christian groups.
The last time the burqa was banned in Sri Lanka was in 2019, after Islamist militants killed more than 250 people after bombing churches and hotels, according to Reuters.
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