Sri Lankan Islamic clerics seek clarity on face veil ban

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Source: Associated Press

By KRISHAN FRANCIS

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Islamic clerics in Sri Lanka asked Muslim women on Tuesday to continue to avoid wearing face veils until the government clarifies whether they are once again allowed now that emergency rule has ended four months after a string of suicide bomb attacks.

Clerics are wary of the Muslim community being targeted again for violence, as it was in the aftermath of April’s Easter Sunday attacks that killed more than 260 people, said Fazil Farook, spokesman for All Ceylon Jammiyyathul Ulama, Sri Lanka’s largest group of Islamic clerics. Two local radical Muslim groups have been blamed for the attacks.

Farook urged Muslim women not to rush into wearing their veils again.

“They have managed in the past and we are asking them to do it the same way,” Farook said, adding that some women have refused to be seen in public without covering their faces because they had been accustomed to it.

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