Egypt court approves ban on niqab wearing lecturers

Egyptian court approves decision by Cairo University to ban teachers from wearing niqab (face veil)

Photo by: AP (Archive )
Photo by: AP (Archive )

Parliamentary candidate Baheya Mohammed wears a Niqab as she talks to voters in Cairo, Egypt on Nov. 27, 2011

An Egyptian court has upheld a decision by Cairo University, Egypt’s oldest institute of higher education, to bar lecturers from wearing the niqab (Islamic face-veil) in class, a judicial source said.

In October, Cairo University President Gaber Nasser barred lecturers from wearing the niqab in class, arguing that the ban aims at “improving communication” between lecturers and students.

A lawyer, however, had filed four lawsuits with a view to abolishing the measure, but the court on Tuesday upheld the ban, the judicial source told Anadolu Agency.

Tuesday’s ruling is still subject to appeal.

The niqab is worn by a small minority of women in Egypt.

In 2008, Egypt saw heated public debate over the niqab when al Azhar University, the country’s highest seat of religious learning, banned the outfit citing security concerns.

Egypt has been roiled by turmoil since the military ousted President Mohamed Morsi -the country’s first freely elected leader- in a 2013 coup.