Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Uruguay: freed Guantanamo detainees try to adjust to normal life

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Turkey: Inside the Alevi community

Read more

FOCUS

China: A tense Christmas in Wenzhou

Read more

DEBATE

Pope's Scathing Tidings: Pontiff Blasts 'Illnesses' at Vatican's Heart (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Pope's Scathing Tidings: Pontiff Blasts 'Illnesses' at Vatican's Heart

Read more

WEB NEWS

Gaza children draw what their future will look like

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Catholic cardinals get coal for Christmas from Pope Francis

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

François Hollande's Christmas wish list

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Embedded with the Islamic State Group

Read more

Middle east

Top cleric orders student to remove face veil

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-10-05

Egypt's leading cleric Mohammed Tantawi (pictured) ordered a student to remove her face veil while was he was visiting the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, according to a news report.

AFP - Egypt's leading cleric ordered a student to remove her face veil while was he was visiting an academy linked to the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, an Egyptian newspaper reported on Monday.
  
Mohammed Tantawi, Azhar's Grand Imam, asked the student to take off her niqab, a face veil worn by some devout Muslim women, when he spotted her in a classroom, the daily Al-Mary al-Yowm reported, adding that the student complied.
  
Tantawi reportedly said the niqab was a tradition, not an Islamic obligation.
  
The newspaper also reported that the Minister of Higher Education Hani Hilal decided to ban women wearing the niqab from entering university residences.
  
Sunni Muslim scholars are divided on whether a woman must cover her face, with the majority saying it is not an obligation, but all mainstream scholars agree a woman must cover her hair and her body with loose fitting clothes.
  
In the Middle East, the niqab has come to be associated with Salafism, a brand of ultra-conservative Islam practiced mostly in Saudi Arabia.
  
Most Muslim women in Egypt wear the hijab, a veil that covers the hair, but an increase in women wearing the niqab has apparently alarmed the government.
  
The ministry of religious endowments has distributed booklets in mosques against the practice.
  

Date created : 2009-10-05

COMMENT(S)