Colombo: Religious fundamentalists in Sri Lanka oppose the Sri Lankan government’s move to ban the burqa. Muslim groups have been protesting against the Rajapaksa government’s alleged encroachment on the rights of minorities.
Religious groups have accused the Sri Lankan government of targeting minorities through policies such as the ban on the burqa. There is also a propaganda that Muslims are preparing to leave Sri Lanka as the country is uninhabitable. In doing so, Muslim organizations aim to secure the support of Islamic countries.
The response of Muslim women is that they are concerned about the government’s decision and find it difficult to stay in Sri Lanka. They also say that in many households, men are looking for jobs abroad.
Attempts are also being made by Islamic countries to oppose the Rajapaksa government in the name of banning the burqa. Saad Khattak, Pakistan’s ambassador to Colombo, tweeted that banning the burqa would hurt the feelings of not only Muslims in Sri Lanka but also Muslims around the world.
Muslim activists allege that banning the burqa and closing madrassas on the grounds of terrorism will tarnish the image of the Muslim community. They also complained that Muslim activists were being arrested indiscriminately in the country.
After the terrorist attacks in 2019, a temporary ban was imposed on the wearing of the burqa in Sri Lanka. After this, Sri Lankan Public Security Minister Sarath Weerasekara said that the burqa would be banned and more than a thousand religious schools would be closed.
The minister said a recommendation to ban Muslim women from wearing the burqa had been submitted to the cabinet for approval, citing national security concerns.