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Egyptians divided over current niqab ban at faculties | Information

The Egyptian authorities has banned feminine college students from carrying the niqab, a face-covering veil, at faculties, in accordance with state-owned media.

Schooling Minister Reda Hegazy’s assertion, launched on Monday and quoted by the government-owned Ahram newspaper, stated college students have an “optionally available” proper to decide on if they may cowl their hair at college. The assertion, nonetheless, added that the hair masking can not cowl their face.

“Any type of hair masking that contravenes the situation of the face being seen shouldn’t be acceptable and the hair masking needs to be within the color chosen by the ministry and native schooling directorate,” it added.

The choice might be enforced ranging from the educational yr on September 30 and proceed till June 8, 2024.

Egyptians, chatting with Al Jazeera on the situation of anonymity, expressed combined opinions over the ban.

M A, a 33-year-old advertising and marketing supervisor from Alexandria, stated he’s in opposition to the niqab being worn at faculties as a result of it obscures what needs to be a “clear” academic course of.

“Something that obscures lecturers from correctly studying the coed’s physique language and facial features to have the ability to assist them or present obligatory consideration shouldn’t be allowed at faculties,” he stated.

M M, who additionally agreed with the federal government’s ban, stated the implementation of this determination is important from a safety perspective.

“Faculty authorities ought to be capable to determine folks going out and in of colleges,” the 38-year-old architect, who can also be from Alexandria, stated.

He stated niqab-wearing college students are largely alienated in faculties, be they combined or segregated ones.

Alternatively, he believes the ban may lead some dad and mom to switch their youngsters from combined faculties to female-only ones.

In response to the ministerial assertion, a pupil ought to make the choice to cowl her hair “primarily based on her personal private want with none stress or power from any particular person or some other entity apart from the dad and mom”, in an obvious reference to native spiritual teams and actions.

The assertion stated dad and mom needs to be knowledgeable of their daughter’s alternative and added that authorities will confirm the guardians’ data of the coed’s alternative over the problem.

‘Females all the time pull quick straw’

Author F A, 45, from Cairo, thinks the federal government’s determination is the most recent case of how girls are used as “punching baggage … socially, politically and economically”.

“Doesn’t matter underneath what pretext, or none … females all the time pull the quick straw,” she stated.

“A narrative as outdated as time and one which continues to be written and plenty of applaud/decry it relying on which lens they’ve slapped on to see the world.”

She stated: “With France banning the abaya and the burkini, Egypt following swimsuit with the niqab ban and earlier than that the US Supreme Court docket overturning Roe v Wade and the Taliban persevering with to severely constrain and constrict females from mainly residing – the policing of girls’s our bodies continues.”

I A, a 33-year-old civil engineer, additionally expressed help for girls carrying niqab at faculties “as it’s a part of everybody’s freedom”.

“Egypt is a Muslim nation,” he advised Al Jazeera, including that he believed it might be troublesome to erase the nation’s id with such a choice.

The federal government took this determination “to boost safety in all of the fields, which I discover to be in opposition to human rights”, I A stated.

The hijab, which covers girls’s hair however not the face is broadly worn in Egypt, whereas the niqab is worn extra by folks from ultraconservative backgrounds.

There have been fierce discussions in Egyptian society over carrying niqab in public areas and academic establishments for a very long time.

Numerous academic establishments within the nation autonomously impose bans on niqabs.

In 2015, Cairo College launched a niqab ban for its workers, which was upheld in later years by the Egyptian judiciary in 2016 and 2020 regardless of appeals.

Niqab ban proposals launched within the Egyptian parliament lately had been both withdrawn or rejected.

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