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Philippine city to ask Muslim women not to wear burqas

Mayor of Davao says request has been made because of security concerns

September 16, 2016

The city government of Davao in the southern Philippines is discouraging Muslim women from wearing burqas in public places.

"The law enforcement officers have expressed their opinion that it would be a good security practice to disallow garments that cover faces in public places," said Mayor Sara Duterte in a statement on Sept. 15.

While she said that she understands the sentiments of Muslim women, the mayor said "the general welfare of the majority takes precedence over religious tradition."

"May I suggest that you wear the hijab which shows your face or cooperate with security personnel and show your face if you are wearing the burqa," she said.

"While it is true that these garments are not disallowed by law, we discourage their use in public places," the mayor added.

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