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Thu, 21 Nov 2019 08:58 GMT

Sri Lanka Muslim Women Uncover out of Fear

Politics

7Dnews London - AFP

Tue, 30 Apr 2019 20:51 GMT

Religious tensions and a government ban on covering the face since the Easter Sunday April 21st suicide attacks have forced conservative Muslim women in Sri Lanka to shun veils, head scarves and long robes in public.

Muslims in the South Asian nation have felt they are a target ever since jihadist suicide bombers killed more than 250 people with their coordinated strikes on six churches and hotels, according to AFP.

Many women said they stopped wearing niqab face veils, hijab scarves and abaya robes straight after the attacks, which have been claimed by the Isis group.

On Monday, April 29th, the Sri Lanka government banned women from covering their face in public, bringing it into line with a number of European countries, including France, Denmark and Belgium.

Sri Lanka's population of 21 million is a patchwork of ethnicities and religions, dominated by the Sinhalese Buddhist majority. Hindus (12.5% of the population) and Muslims (9.5%) follow, with Christians fourth (7.0%).

"I have stopped wearing the abaya and hijab in the last few days because of the comments and looks I was getting," said one Muslim widow, asking not to be named.

Asia