The Davao city government’s public safety office is planning to require Muslim women to take off their burqas upon entering malls as a security measure.
A group was quick to call this “discriminatory” against Muslims.
Benito de Leon, the new head of the Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC), said the plan was part of security protocol following the Sept. 2 night market blast that killed 15 people and wounded at least 69 others.
De Leon, however, said that apart from burqas, caps, bonnets, sunglasses and other bodily accessories that could conceal a person’s identity would be ordered taken off upon entering malls and other establishments.
“We will be requiring people, upon entering malls and other establishments, to remove their caps, bonnets, sunglasses, including hijabs (for women) for inspection,” De Leon said, apparently referring to the burqa, which covers the entire face except for the eyes. “Anything that can conceal their faces or identities.”
The group Suara Bangsamoro assailed the plan, saying this was discriminatory against Muslims and disrespectful of their religious belief and culture.
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