- Egyptian female students have vowed to appeal a total ban of niqab, the full face veil imposed by the government last October, rights activists have said in a statement.
The statement follows a Cairo based court ruling on Sunday to back government’s decision to ban female students wearing the niqab in university examinations. The ban follows a number of complaints that individuals were sitting exams disguised as other candidates.
However, the activities said the ban on niqab is the infringement on the women’s religious rights, further stating that the ban forces women in tertiary institutions to expose part of their bodies which they do not want to expose.
The administrative court's decision, which may be appealed, came after more than 50 students filed a petition against the ban.
According to local reports the row over the niqab has intensified in recent months after Mohammed Sayyed Tantawi Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's main seat of learning, banned the niqab in all residences and schools affiliated to Al-Azhar with exception made in classrooms where the teacher is male.
Full facial cover was also outlawed from the dormitories of public universities in October but the court overturned that ban in mid-December saying it violated the constitutional right of freedom to practice faith.
Most Muslim women in Egypt cover their hair, but the full face veil is associated with the ultra-conservative Salafi school of thought, which is based mostly in Saudi Arabia, and is gaining popularity in the country.
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