Sri Lanka has moved to ban face veils following a collection of lethal terrorist assaults that unfolded at resorts and church buildings on Easter Sunday.
President Maithripala Sirisena’s workplace cited “emergency laws” in its announcement Sunday that it could prohibit “all types of face covers which will hinder one’s identification being ascertained, as a menace to nationwide safety and public security,” in response to the Presidential Media Division.
“This directive specifies the necessity for one’s face being clearly seen for ascertaining their identification as its fundamental criterion,” the assertion mentioned.
The rule, which took impact Monday, doesn’t immediately title coverings such because the burqa or the niqab. Nevertheless, each gadgets cowl the face and would presumably not be allowed.
The president’s workplace argued it could “guarantee nationwide safety and a peaceable and reconciled society, the place no ethnic group or group can be subjected to discomfort.”
Greater than 250 individuals had been killed within the Easter assaults, and not less than 58 suspects had been apprehended in reference to the violence. Though not less than one girl was believed to be concerned within the bombings, there have been no reviews that anybody was disguised by a veil.
Regardless of the president’s obvious concern over identification and security, the brand new regulation raises critical questions on non secular freedoms.
In a press release despatched to HuffPost, Nationwide Govt Director Nihad Awad of the Council on American-Islamic Relations contended it was a transfer within the improper course.
“Proscribing non secular liberties for a false feeling of security isn’t a good suggestion, and banning ladies from carrying non secular clothes of their alternative is a very dangerous concept,” he mentioned.
“Concentrating on the Sri Lankan Muslim group additionally makes little sense. For the reason that attackers used bookbags to hold out their assaults, will the Sri Lankan authorities even be banning backpacks? After all not. However that overreaction would not less than make extra sense than banning non secular face veils.”
Awad known as on the Sri Lankan authorities to counter extremism with the assistance of all communities, noting that stripping one group of its non secular freedoms “is the worst attainable method” to realize that aim.
Nevertheless, the ban obtained assist from the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama, Sri Lanka’s prime group of Islamic theologians.
In a press release launched final week, the group pointed to “difficulties confronted by the safety officers in performing their features in conditions the place the identification of an individual can’t be ascertained.”
“Therefore, we advise that within the prevailing state of affairs our sisters shouldn’t hinder the safety forces of their efforts to take care of nationwide safety by carrying the face cowl (Niqab).”
Final weekend, Catholics within the nation had been urged to remain residence from Mass, and the U.S. Embassy warned the general public to avoid locations of worship amid considerations over further assaults.