On January 9, Morocco became the latest country to take steps against the burqa. The government banned the sale, production and import of the burqa, giving retailers 48 hours to destroy their stocks. It is still unclear at this stage if the garment will be banned, but officials say that it indicates a strong hostility towards the burqa.
In 2016 several French coastal towns implemented a Burkini ban, a swimming suit for Muslim women, after government officials said that it raised concerns around security. The ban led to hundreds of protests taking place throughout France and Europe, with campaigners citing that it infringed on their human rights.
The burqa is a piece of clothing that appears to stir up a lot of controversy in many countries; France and Morocco are not the only ones who have issues with it.
In 2016, Dutch MPs voted to ban wearing burqa in public places. Should the vote become law the Netherlands will be the fourth European country to ban the garment, behind France, Belgium and Bulgaria. Swiss MPs have also voted for a ban, although it has yet to be implemented, and there are movements to restrict such clothing in Germany, Norway and Italy.
Now, a survey from YouGov, has found that the support for banning the burqa extends to Britain and Germany. YouGov found that the majority of people surveyed from Britain and Germany would like to see the burqa banned.
69 percent of Germans surveyed said they would like to see the burqa banned and 50 percent of Brits questioned said they would also prefer a ban, however surprisingly unpopular in the US, which has seen a huge amount of anti-Muslim rhetoric recently, due to comments made by US President-elect Donald Trump, who said that he would ban Muslims from entering the US.
This latest results from YouGov are similar to their August 2016 survey, which also asked people in the UK whether the burqa should be banned. At the time 57 percent of Brits who were surveyed said they did prefer a ban on the burqa.
Roshan Mohammad Salih, editor of 5 Pillars magazine, an online news site that aims to fight extremism, said that he is not surprised by the results.
"It's an unfortunate thing and I'm not surprised, women should be allowed to dress how they want to dress. These results are just another stick to beat women with.
"In the UK and Germany very few wear the burqa and these results will just isolate Muslims and make them stay in the houses and it will affect their employment prospects," Mr. Salih told Sputnik.
Therefore, the results from Britain and Germany did not come as much of a surprise. It was the outcome of those surveyed in the US that added a fresh voice to the debate.
However, it provided little consolation, according to Mr. Salih, who said that the US President-elect Donald Trump's comments about Muslims have only encouraged more hatred.
"I'm very surprised about the US result and that gives me hope in humanity. In the US we have seen similar trends as in Britain. Despite this, I think there is a trend in the US of an increase in Islamophobia and that is down to Trump, who said some very worrying things. It plays into the hands of ISIS [Daesh] and Al-Qaeda, who will use this to say the West hates Muslims," Mr. Mohammad-Salih said.
"Unfortunately what Trump says will lead to hate, violence and extremism. But I think people in the West are decent and tolerant, it's the media and politicians who try to stir up Islamophobia," Mr. Salih added.
So what is the solution to all of this? According to Mr. Salih, this is a worrying trend, which could lead to the UK adopting the French model which wants everyone to assimilate, however it has caused more division and created less harmony.