A hardline nationalist group in Sri Lanka is calling for the government to ban the hijab, a traditional dress for Muslim women, citing security reasons, the head of the organization said here Monday.
The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), which also includes prominent Buddhist monks among its membership, 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. “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 organization is accused of inciting and organizing 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.