A salesman covers the face of a mannequin with a niqab cafe veil at a women's clothing shop in Kattankudy, Sri Lanka, Monday, April 29, 2019. After being targeted by Islamic State suicide bombings on Easter, Sri Lanka has banned the niqab face veil, which increasingly has been seen in Muslim areas of the island nation's east. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

After Sri Lanka blasts, government targets the niqab veil

April 29, 2019 - 10:36 am

KATTANKUDY, Sri Lanka (AP) — As Sri Lanka's long civil war ended in this once-contested region along its eastern coast, Muslim women eager to show their piousness began wearing the black niqab veil to hide their faces.

Now in the wake of Easter suicide attacks launched by Islamic State group-linked militants that killed over 250 people, Sri Lanka's president has used his emergency powers to ban the practice previously unheard of in the island nation off the southern coast of India.

The ban, which took effect Monday, has been touted as a security measure. However, it criminalizes a practice more associated with an ultraconservative form of Islam previously unknown on the island, one that more closely adheres to the strict beliefs more common in Saudi Arabia.

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