After Sri Lanka blasts, government targets the niqab veil
KATTANKUDY, Sri Lanka (AP) — As Sri Lanka’s long civil war ended in this once-contested region along its eastern coast, Muslim women eager to show their piousness began wearing the black niqab veil to hide their faces.
Now in the wake of Easter suicide attacks launched by Islamic State group-linked militants that killed over 250 people, Sri Lanka’s president has used his emergency powers to ban the practice previously unheard of in the island nation off the southern coast of India.
The ban, which took effect Monday, has been touted as a security measure. However, it criminalizes a practice more associated with an ultraconservative form of Islam previously unknown on the island, one that more closely adheres to the strict beliefs more common in Saudi Arabia.