- Egypt’s university has banned the use of surgical masks in examinations halls after female students resorted to masks to replace niqab, a full face veil banned by government last October.
Officials at Cairo University said that replacing the niqab with facemasks violates a recent ruling by the Administrative Court, which upheld a ban on the full veil in examination halls.
Earlier this month, Egyptian female students vowed to appeal a total ban of niqab veil, imposed by the government last October.
The statement follows a Cairo based court ruling on 3 January 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.
The controversy over the niqab in this predominantly Muslim country erupted last October when Mohammad Tantawi, the Grand Shaikh of Al Azhar, the leading Sunni seat of learning, banned the niqab in female-only classes and dormitories.
The top cleric said that the costume is not an Islamic duty. A few days later, Minister of Higher Education Hani Hilal followed suit, citing security reasons.
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.
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.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.