Egyptian Court Overturns AUC Ban on Islamic Niqab
A Cairo court has ruled that a private Egyptian university can not ban a visiting student from entering campus in the full Islamic veil, a court source told AFP Tuesday.
The court ruled Monday that Iman Mohammed Al Zainy, studying for a doctorate at the Islamic university of Al Azhar, could enter the American University in Cairo (AUC) to use the library while dressed in the "niqab" veil which covers the entire face except for the eyes.
Zainy had been told by guards at the AUC university that she had to remove her niqab for security reasons if she wanted to enter the compound.
But the court has ordered AUC to allow the student to enter for her research studies, on the grounds that wearing the veil was a matter of personal and religious freedom, the source said.
A 1994 ministry of education decree bans the niqab at Egyptian government universities other than religious institutions such as Al Azhar.
In practice, however, many state universities allow the niqab on campus, commissioning female security personnel to carry out identity checks on niqab-wearing women, notably before exams, according to the agency.
The American University in Cairo was founded in 1919 by a number of American educators, led by its founding president, Dr. Charles A. Watson.
According to the AUC website, the university has sought to improve America's understanding of the area – Albawaba.com
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