While people who oppose the wearing of facial coverings by Muslim women are routinely accused of Islamophobia, the Muslim-majority nation of Chad has not only banned such garments but ordered one variety, the burqa, burned.
“Wearing the burqa must stop immediately from today, not only in public places and schools but throughout the whole of the country,” said Prime Minister Kalzeube Pahimi Deubet, Chad’s ruler since 1990.
The central African country of 13.5 million people took this unprecedented step after at least two burqa-wearing suicide bombers, reportedly men in disguise, staged co-ordinated terrorist attacks in N’Djamena, Chad’s capital, last June 15. The targets were the city’s police headquarters and the police academy. The resulting carnage saw 38 people killed, including four terrorists, and dozens more wounded. Though no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, Chadian authorities blame the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram, based in nearby Nigeria.