Prominent Salafist cleric Yasser Borhami (Photo: Al-Ahram)
A prominent Salafi preacher called Monday on Cairo University's female medical students and staffs to disobey a recent decision made by the university’s head to ban them from wearing face veils in all of its hospitals and clinics starting this week.
"The decision is in opposition to the rules of Sharia, the judiciary and the constitution," Yasser Borhami, the deputy leader of ultra-orthodox movement Salafist Call (Al-Da‘waa Al-Salafiyyai) said in a press statement.
"If any of you were prohibited from working for not implementing the decision, go file a lawsuit," Borhami added.
Head of Cairo University Gaber Nassar issued the decision on Sunday, citing “the protection of the rights of the patients and work interests.”
The decision will be applied to doctors, nurses, hospital technical assistants and all other staff in Qasr Al-Aini Hospital as well as other medical facilities owned by the state-owned university.
In October 2015, Nasser issued a decree banning the university's academic staff from wearing face veils, also known as the niqab, inside classrooms.
He justified his decision by saying that the number of teaching staff members wearing the full-face veil is only 10 out of approximately 22,000 members teaching in 24 faculties.
"The university received reports from some of the faculties’ deans regarding difficulties in communication between students and teachers wearing the niqab, particularly in language courses," Nasser said at the time.
"The ban aims to enhance the quality of communication and education," he added.