Friday, February 02, 2007
Egypts Minister of Religion Rejects the Niquab!! I agree with him
I agree with him, his point of view makes alot of sense and i commend him on speaking his mind! ..
Egypt's minister of religion rejects the Niquab.
By Loveday Morris, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 1:12am GMT 29/01/2007
The Egyptian government is embroiled in an angry dispute with conservative Muslims after trying to clamp down on women who cover their faces with a veil.
The controversy comes after the minister of religious endowments, Hamdi Zaqzuq, expelled an official from a meeting after she refused to remove her niqab, a veil that leaves only the eyes exposed.
"I totally reject the niqab," said Mr Zaqzuq. "No religious counsellor needs to wear it, since it is not required by Islamic law."
The woman was one of 50 people appointed to provide religious guidance. Fully veiled women have now been banned from the post because the minister feared they would "promote the culture of the niqab".
The dispute echoes the row that engulfed Jack Straw in Britain, when the former foreign secretary said he asked constituents to remove their veils during meetings – prompting cries of "Islamophobia".
Wearing the full veil is banned in Turkey and Tunisia and there are growing restrictions in Egypt. Helwan University, in Cairo, has banned the niqab and expelled 15 students who refused to abandon it.
Egypt's government-backed newspapers also campaign against it. Salama Ahmed Salama, a columnist in the daily Al-Ahram, said: "The niqab degrades women. They cannot function as teachers, doctors, journalists or government employees."
although the niqab remains rare, its popularity is growing. Wearing it is seen increasingly as a political statement and critics say the crackdown highlights the secular government's anxiety to keep power out of the hands of conservative religious groups.