The Shiv Sena on Wednesday called for a ban on the use of burqa as it threw its weight behind a similar plan being mulled by the Sri Lankan government in the wake of the Easter terror strikes which claimed over 250 lives.
“This restriction has been recommended as an emergency measure to ensure the security forces do not encounter difficulties in identifying anybody. People wearing face-masks or burqas could pose a threat to national security,” said the Sena in an editorial in the party mouthpieces, “Saamana” and “Dopahar Ka Saamana”.
Reacting strongly upon the demand, Muslim women said India is a democratic country where everyone has the freedom to follow one’s religion. They called it a conspiracy of communal leaders to end democracy.
Mumbai president of Jamat-e-Islami women’s wing Salma Baig said it is a plan to deviate people from real issues and an effort to gain cheap publicity.
Vice president All India Muslim Majlis Mushavirat Uzma Naheed termed the suggestion by Shiv Sena as stupid. She said it has proved time and again that Indian Muslims are peace loving. Even the priests of Sri Lankan church declared that terrorism has no religion and the attackers were not Muslims. She said it would have been better if Shiv Sena chief had advised Sadhvi to change her attire instead of calling for burqa ban.
Chief of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan Khatoon Shaikh said the call for burqa ban is unscrupulous. This is our religious matter, we don’t force anyone. The ban is unacceptable in any case, she said.
Corporator of Mumbra Ashreen Rawat said not only Muslim women but women of other communities also put a veil on their faces. Will ‘ghunghat’ be also banned? Another woman said this is sheer interference in religious affairs.