Egypt university to appeal niqab ruling

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CAIRO: A leading Cairo university will appeal a court decision allowing female students to don the full face veil on campus dormitories, a university official said on Monday.

Cairo s Ain Shams University will immediately appeal the decision issued by the Supreme Administrative Court on Sunday, the official said.

The court had said that donning the niqab – a veil covering the entire face – is one example of freedom that no administrative body or any other body can ban.

The court is also expected to rule on Dec. 27 on the case of female university students who have been told they will not be allowed to sit exams if they insist on wearing the full face veil.

The niqab is worn by some devout Muslim women.

Most Muslim women in Egypt wear the hijab, which covers the hair, but the niqab is becoming more popular on the streets of Cairo.

The row over the niqab has intensified in recent months after Mohamed Sayed Tantawy, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam s main seat of learning, banned the niqab in all residences and schools affiliated to Al-Azhar, except in classrooms where the teacher is male.

At the beginning of the academic year, Education Minister Youssry El-Gamal said the niqab would be banned in school classrooms. – AFP

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