Kyrgyzstan President On Burka Ban: ‘Women In Mini Skirts Don’t Become Islamic Terrorists’

People who wear Islamic clothing such as a burqa are more likely to become radicalised and plot terror attacks, the President of Kyrgyzstan, Almazbek Atambayev has said. His remarks, which have provoked widespread criticism, were offered as part of a national debate on Kyrgyzstan’s cultural identity. His comments, made at a press conference, follow several weeks of controversy over state-sponsored hoardings going up which urged Kyrgyz women not to adopt clothing such as the burqa, niqab or hijab, the BBC has reported. The President has previously made it clear that he has no problem with Muslim traditions, but opposes the ‘Arabization’ of Kyrgyzstan, the population of which is about 80 percent Muslim. The hoardings show contrasting images: to the left a group of women dressed in traditional Kyrgyz attire, to the right a group of women in niqabs and black burqas, covering all but their eyes. Under the images, white text in a red arrow pointing towards the right reads: “Poor people! Where are we heading to?” Responding to criticism of the advert, President Atambayev said: “When we erected banners some smart people appeared and started pointing at miniskirts. Our women have been wearing miniskirts since 1950s, and they never