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Sri Lankan group demands hijab ban

Sri Lanka,Indo-Pak/Pakistan,Politics,Religion, Mon, 08 Jul 2013 IANS

Colombo, July 8 (IANS) A hardline nationalist group in Sri Lanka wants the government to ban the hijab, a traditional dress for Muslim women, citing security reasons, its head said Monday.

The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), which also includes prominent Buddhist monks among its members, demanded that the government ban the covering headdress insisting that recent events proved it was a threat to security.

The reasoning provided by the BBS is that a recent underworld member was arrested in Colombo while he was disguised as a Muslim woman wearing the enveloping garment, reports Xinhua.

"We believe that most people will not talk about this issue because it is religiously sensitive. However, it is an important issue and we will take this up with top government officials in order to protect the people of this country," BBS head Galagodaatthe Gnanasara Thero told the media.

The BBS is accused of inciting and organising violence against Muslims in the country and has been criticized by moderate Buddhist organizations and leading Buddhist monks in the country.

In February, the Muslim community, bowing to intense pressure from the BBS, decided to withdraw issuing Halaal certification for local products.

The BBS has also held massive rallies around the country to ban cattle slaughter and demand that Buddhism be given prominence in the country.

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