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Egypt Launches New Campaign Against Niqab

Apr.18, 2009 in Muslim-World

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The Egyptian Ministry of Religious Endowments has launched a new awareness campaign aimed at exposing the reality of the niqab- a veil covering the face to it’s employees:

“In a bid to curb the surge in donning the niqab (a full-face veil), among its female employees, the Ministry of Waqfs (Religious Endowments), has embarked on a controversial campaign to discourage wearing this garb.

“We are not asking the niqab wearers to take it off. The aim of our campaign, based on awareness-raising seminars, is to prove to them that the niqab was originally an Arabian costume in pre-Islamic times,” said Selim Abdel Gelil, an aide to the Minister of Waqfs and the one responsible for the campaign.

The campaign got off the ground this week at the premises of the ministry in Cairo and is planned to cover other cities and provinces of this predominantly Muslim country, according to the same official.

“Islam requires women to be decently dressed without obliging them to cover their faces and hands,” Abdel Gelil told Gulf News….

…Over recent years, the niqab, which covers the woman from head to toe, has become popular in Egypt. Shops, apparently cashing in on the revival of Islamism, have sprung up in working-class and fashionable areas to sell items for Muslim women…


…As part of the campaign, the ministry will publish a book titled “Niqaba Habit, not a Worship” to be distributed for free to female attendees of the seminars.


“There will also be question-and-answer sessions in order to help correct misconceptions about the niqab,” said Abdel Gelil.

“Wearing the niqab is not an obligatory duty based on Islamic Sharia (Law). I think Muslims make a big mistake by concentrating on appearances and superficial things, thereby giving a bad idea about Islam,” Minister of Waqfs Hamdi Zaqzouq was recently quoted as saying in the local press.

He added that niqab-wearers at his ministry would not be assigned preaching missions.

Meanwhile, Minister of Health Dr Hatem Al Gabali has recently warned that female nurses wearing the niqab would be re-posted from hospitals to administrative jobs, saying the costume hampers them from efficiently serving patients.” [Source: Gulf News]

I thought the Muslim world was 100% seething with Islamic fanatics ready to murder the first thing that might undermine Islamic norms. Looks like the anti-Islam bigots were wrong once again.

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