- Several countries in the West African block comprising Congo, Chad, Cameroon and Guinea have initiated a ban on wearing the niqab after a spate of young women carried out suicide attacks.
- Gabonese authorities said any person wearing the Niqab will be subjected to a total inspection at police checkpoints.
The niqab is the full-face veil donned by Muslim women on religious doctrines. Recent terrorist incidences have seen to the militants taking advantage of the adornment to veil their identities and carry suicide missions.
Congo Brazaville was the first country in the Lake Chad Basin region to ban the niqab. The country has been spared thus far from Boko Haram attacks, which focus mainly around the far northern region of Cameroon, on the border with Nigeria.
Chad was the next to take the same decision alongside a host of other security measures, two days after twin suicide bombings targeted the Chadian capital on June 15. A few days later, the Littoral region followed. Authorities saw the move convenient in limiting the infiltration of a militant group in the region, in which Cameroon’s economic capital, Douala, is located.
Authorities agree that the move to ban the Niqab is not intimidation against Islam but a move to thwart efforts of terrorists operating under the guise of Islam religion. They thus have encouraged the Muslim clerics to embrace the move and urge the religion followers to co-operate in the effort, seen entirely as fight against terror.
Banning of Niqab is a measure aimed at reducing terrorist activities by a large extent by denying opportunity to young women that have in the past carried out suicide attacks by bombings in the guise of Islam.
The measure will not however completely do away with the general suicide missions commissioned by terrorist groups. There are other ways in which attackers can carry out suicide attacks including use of suicide vests. The fight against terrorism puts all these possibilities into consideration with an aim to thwart any of the terrorists’ efforts.