Sri Lankan lawmakers proposed legislation Tuesday to ban the wearing of burqas, responding to reports that some of the Easter Sunday bombers may have been burqa-wearing women.
Sri Lankan MP Ashu Marasinghe proposed the bill on his Facebook page that would ban burqas, claiming that they pose a national security risk stemming from their previous use to mask the identities of terrorist. New reports reveal that burqas may have been used by female accomplices in the Easter Sunday bombings.
Government officials told the Daily Mirror that women wearing burqas were spotted fleeing the sites of the Easter church bombing, and they suspected that a considerable number of those involved with the terror plot were in fact women. The Sri Lankan government, now targeting burqas in response to their alleged use in the attacks, “is planning to implement the move in consultation with the mosque authorities,” the Daily Mirror reported. (RELATED: Brunei Writes Letter To EU Asking For ‘Tolerance’ Of New Sharia Punishments Including Amputations, Whipping, and Stoning)
The bill also contested the claim that the burqa is a traditional Muslim garment, arguing that burqas and niqabs were introduced to Muslim women in Sri Lanka following the Gulf War by “extremist elements,” according to the Daily Mirror.
Sri Lanka is a majority-Buddhist country, with a Muslim community constituting only 9.7% of the total population, according to a 2017 International Religious Freedom Report, meaning that the ban would affect only a small demographic.