Two women in niqab—the Islamic full face veil—yesterday cornered a 28-year-old Coptic woman, who prefers to go by her initials N.S., on the metro
Two women in niqab—the Islamic full face veil—yesterday cornered a 28-year-old Coptic woman, who prefers to go by her initials N.S., on the metro, cut her hair and hurled her out of the carriage when the metro stopped. They shouted that she was an ‘apostate’. N.S., who was injured and suffered a broken arm, filed an official complaint with the police station and then went to a nearby hospital for treatment and a medical report.
Only 48 hours earlier, a woman in niqab attacked the 13-year-old Copt Maggie Fayez and cut her hair while she was on the Cairo metro on her way to school.
The lawyer and human rights activist Naguib Gibrail, head of the Egyptian Union for Human Rights, demanded of the Minister of Interior Ahmed Gamal Eddin, an explanation for the reoccurrence of such incidents. “Till when will women in niqab,” he said, “be given free rein to commit violations and not be taken to account because their identities are concealed by the niqab?” Will we reach the point, he questioned, when Christian women refrain from riding the metro out of fear for their safety and security?
A few weeks ago a teacher in Luxor, Upper Egypt, Iman al-Kilani, who also wore niqab, cut the hair of two 12-year-old Muslim pupils, Ula Qassem and Mona al-Rawi. Ms Kilani had given orders to her class that all girls should don hijab—the Islamic head cover—or else she would cut their hair, which is what she did when Qassem and Rawi did not comply. The teacher was consequently subjected to disciplinary action by the Education Ministry when their parents filed complaints against her.
13 November 2012
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