Al-Azhar May Ban Niqab
By Sarah El Deeb, AP
CAIRO â€“ An Egyptian daily reports that the countryâ€™s top Muslim cleric is planning to ban female students from wearing the face veil from schools run by al-Azhar, Sunni Islamâ€™s most prestigious institute of learning.
The independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm said in a report Monday that Sheik Mohammed Sayyed Tantawi would soon order the ban implemented in all of al-Azharâ€™s institutions.
A security official also said they had verbal orders to prevent students wearing the face-covering veil, known as the niqab, from entering al-Azhar schools, and dormitories of three Cairo universities for security reasons.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasnâ€™t authorized to discuss state policies.
Tantawi said the face veil is only a custom and not an Islamic precept.