Egypt's court upholds ban on face veil for academic staff at Cairo University; verdict final

Menna Alaa El-Din , Monday 27 Jan 2020

The court rejected all appeals against the January 2016 ruling by an administrative court upholding a ban on the university's staff from wearing the niqab

Niqab in Egypt
File Photo: A woman wears an Islamic Face veil (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's High Administrative Court upheld a ban on Cairo University's academic staff from wearing the face veil, or niqab, during classes, putting an end to a case that started in 2015

The court rejected all appeals against the January 2016 ruling by an administrative court that  upheld a decision by then Cairo University President Gaber Nassar to ban the university's staff from wearing the face veil.

Monday's verdict is final and cannot be appealed. 

According to 2016's ruling reasoning, the freedom to choice of clothing falls under personal freedoms guaranteed by the constitution; however, such a freedom is not absolute and should be practiced with respect to public decency.

The court added that while the Regulation of Universities Law does not include articles that require academic staff to wear specific uniforms, Article 96 stipulates that they must adhere into university traditions.

It added that direct communication is not achieved with students and others if members of the academic staff are wearing the niqab.

This is not the first time the university has been involved in controversy regarding the banning of the niqab. In November 2009, the university banned students and teaching staff from wearing the niqab on campus or in the university’s dorms.

However, the ban was overturned by a Cairo court in January 2010 following a lawsuit filed by a female professor.

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