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AP: Syria bans face veils at universities

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DAMASCUS, Syria — Syria has banned the face-covering Islamic veil from the country’s universities, as similar moves in Europe spark cries of discrimination against Muslims.

The Education Ministry issued the ban Sunday, according to a government official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly. The ban affects public and private universities and aims to protect Syria’s secular identity, he said.

Sunday’s ban does not affect the headscarf, which many Syrian women wear.

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The niqab is not widespread in Syria, although it has become more common recently — a move that has not gone unnoticed in a country governed by a secular, authoritarian regime.

“We have given directives to all universities to ban niqab-wearing women from registering,” the government official told The Associated Press on Monday.

The niqab “contradicts university ethics,” he added.

He also confirmed that hundreds of primary school teachers who were wearing the niqab at government-run schools were transferred last month to administrative jobs.

Syria is the latest country to weigh in on the niqab, perhaps the most visible hallmark of strict, conservative Islam. European countries including France, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands are considering similar bans on the grounds that the veils are degrading to women. Opponents say such bans violate freedom of religion and will stigmatize all Muslims.

France’s lower house of parliament overwhelmingly approved a ban on wearing burqa-style Islamic veils on July 13 in an effort to define and protect French values, a move that angered many in the country’s large Muslim community.

Source: Associated Press

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Muslim American born in Brooklyn, NY with Guyanese parents currently living in Virginia working full-time as a web developer.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Amazing Idea for Niqabis!

    July 22, 2010 at 5:21 PM

    Asalaam alaikum wr wb

    Wear a Medical health mask instead of a Niqab in France, and you don’t get fined!

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=y4bnmlQQ7YY

    • Sayf

      July 22, 2010 at 7:32 PM

      That’s genius!

  2. Gurabah

    August 1, 2010 at 8:41 PM

    Salamu Alaykum,

    A medical health mask is great idea, lol!!! mashAllah
    can you imagine if all the niqabis whore that instead in solidarity. lol!!
    i am sorry, i don’t mean to really joke about this because i care for my sisters. I support you in your niqab and i fight with you!! May Allah make you strong and steadfast, ameen

  3. Pingback: Muslim Syria BANS Islamic Face Veils (Niqab) At Universities | 1 MUSLIM NATION

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