July 09, Colombo: A leading Muslim organization in Sri Lanka, Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCSL) has launched a campaign aiming to alleviate fears among the majority Sinhala community against the Abaya and Niqab worn by Muslim women covering most of their bodies.
The MCSL is conducting a campaign to persuade Muslim women to give up black abaya and instead wear colored ones to make the Islamic sartorial custom more acceptable to the Sinhalese majority in the country.
The campaign, called 'Bring your black abayas, we will give you colored abayas',is implemented in the hope of making the abaya - the loose outer garment worn by Muslim women as a cloak to cover the body from the shoulders to the feet- more acceptable to the majority community.
"When everybody is in black, it gives the impression that we are a uniformed force. And the niqab has raised security concerns," says an advisor to the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama.
The black abaya and the niqab have been heavily criticized by the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and other Buddhist extremist organizations attributing the garment to Islamic extremism.
President of MCSL says that new abayas will be obtained and distributed soon under this project.