77 women to sue Cairo university over niqab ban
Seventy seven niqab-wearing faculty members at Cairo University are preparing to file a lawsuit against the university president Gaber Nassar, a lawyer involved in the case told Aswat Masriya.
Ahmed Mahran, the head of the Cairo Center for Political and Legal Studies, said the claimants asked him to file a lawsuit against Nassar after the latter issued a decision last week banning the full-face veil among the university's teaching staff.
According to Mahran, the claimants include women who do not wear the niqab, but are involved in solidarity with those affected by the ban.
Mahran added that procedures to file the case before Cairo's Administrative Court would start on Saturday.
Nassar justified the decision by saying that it came in response to students who complained of "poor communication" in class, as he considered niqab especially problematic in language courses, where the cloth barrier of the veil hinders student-teacher communications, producing low grades and graduates incapable of enunciation.
"We are not banning the niqab, we are just regulating it," Nassar told The Associated Press on Friday.
Even though Nassar's decision only applies to Cairo University, officials from other universities across the country, as well as Islamic clerics and students, denounced the move as discriminatory.
However, Nassar said he had the support of the Grand Mufti, Egypt's top religious authority.