Cairo University - Wikimedia Commons
CAIRO – 27 January 2020: President of Cairo University Mohamed Othman el-Khosht said that Monday’s ruling to ban teaching staff from wearing niqab (full face-veil) at campus “adheres to the university’s customs.”
In his statements to Egypt Today, Khost explained that the ruling comes within the framework of the law regulating universities, which does not determine a specific outfit for teaching staff; however, it obliges them to adhere to university traditions.
“Although employees have the freedom to choose the uniform to wear to work, provided it respects the dignity of the job, this freedom might carry restrictions stipulated by laws, regulations, and administrative decisions,” he added.
Khost continued that with some members of the teaching staff wearing niqab at lectures, direct communication with the students is not achieved, stressing that teaching requires communication.
He added, “Veil is not a religious obligation, and among the conditions of Hajj [pilgrimage], Umrah and prayer is to show the face.”
The Supreme Administrative Court at State Council upheld Monday a court ruling banning Cairo University's teaching staff from wearing niqab (full face-veil), and rejected an appeal to overturn the ruling.
A total number of 80 niqabi researchers at Cairo University filed an appeal against a previous decision by the Administrative Judiciary Court banning them from the face veil on campus.
Egypt's State Commissioners Authority (SCA) has recommended upholding the ban decision, saying that niqab affects the education process, and communication between students and the teaching staff.
Niqab is a piece of cloth some devout Muslim women prefer to wear to cover their faces, while some think it is obligatory.
The niqab case has sparked widespread controversy in Egypt, as a number of lawmakers have earlier submitted bills requiring the state to pass a ban.