DHAKA, Dec 9 (Reuters) - A banned Islamist militant group blamed for a series of bombings in Bangladesh has threatened to kill women, including non-Muslims, if they do not wear the veil, a statement said.
The statement by the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen came hours after Thursday's suicide bomb attack in a northen town that killed at least eight people, the latest of a series of blasts blamed on militant groups in their campaign for an Islamic state.
"Women will be killed if they are found to move around without wearing burqa (veil) from the first day of Jilhaj," the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen said in the statement sent to a Dhaka newspaper office.
Jilhaj refers to the Arabic month beginning early January.
"Women, including non-Muslims, are hereby advised not to go out of home without burqa. Seclusion has been made compulsory for you," said the statement in Bangla language, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters on Friday.
It makes my blood boil to think of all the ways that certain groups attempt to gain power over women's bodies, women's freedoms. I think I've mentioned that one of my characters in my novel Self Storage wears a burqa. It is (mostly, not completely) her choice to wear it in the US. To suggest such restriction for even non-Muslim women in Bangladesh is utterly outrageous.