On April 17, a refugee camp at Kohat in Pakistan was struck by two suicide bombers that disguised themselves with burqas, the full-body veil worn by some Muslim women to make sure none of their skin is exposed. The attacks, which killed 41 people and injured 62, are sure to heighten the debate in Europe about whether wearing burqas and niqabs in public should be banned.
A parliamentary committee in Belgium has unanimously approved such a ban, with the final vote in the House of Representatives coming April 22 and it is expected to pass. Movements to ban the burqa in Europe are quickly growing due to concern that the burqas can be used to disguise the identities of terrorists planning attacks like those that just happened in Pakistan and over the lack of assimilation of Muslim immigrant communities.
These concerns are not unfounded. Even though Islam frowns upon cross-dressing, male terrorists dressing up as burqa-clad women in order to carry out attacks is becoming more and more part of their modus operandi. This tactic has even been used by bank robbers and other criminals on many occasions, including in the U.S., as thoroughly documented by Daniel Pipes.