Captured ‘Burqa Bandit’ blasted by CAIR after ‘oppressive’ attire comment

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The executive director of San Diego’s Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is outraged after learning that a local woman used a burqa to try and disguise herself while trying to rob a bank.

Elysia Roiz, known locally as the “Burqa Bandit,” could spend years in prison, but said she would do it all again if it meant she could help her special needs son, KABC-TV reported.


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Surveillance photos allegedly show Roiz, in a maroon Burqa, attempting to rob a Wells Fargo in National City in July. She passed a note to the teller, but then fled when the teller hit the panic button, the station said.

Roiz admitted it was not fair to dress in religious garb to commit a crime.

“I know in other countries they’ve outlawed it, because of people, mostly men hiding firearms inside burqas, and I don’t think it was fair of me to exploit that, but what better costume,” she told ABC 10 News. “I don’t want to be disrespectful, but I mean, that stuff is so oppressive, like I mean, we fought a lot in the 70s, women did, so that kind of stuff didn’t happen, doesn’t happen.”

“There’s other ways to express religion,” she added.

CAIR’s executive director Hanif Mohebi blamed Ms. Roiz’s statements on ignorance.

“It is absolutely hurtful,” he said. “It is obviously ignorance. No one has or should use any symbols or clothing of religious in order to commit any crimes.”

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