Egypt is considering a law which would ban the burqa in public places in a crackdown on Islamic extremism.
By – Tim Stickings
The Muslim-majority nation has faced a series of extremist attacks including the shooting of six Coptic Christians by ISIS last week.
A draft law to be considered by the Egyptian parliament calls for a burqa ban in public spaces including hospitals, health clinics, schools, cinemas, theaters and museums.
Women who wore the full face veil would be punished with a fine of 1,000 Egyptian pounds, equivalent to $56 or £42, the Jerusalem Post reported.
The lawmaker who introduced the bill said it would ‘support the state’s efforts in fighting terrorism‘.
One political analyst said the veil ‘creates a security problem as many male and female terrorists use it to hide their identities or sneak into places’.
A ban would ‘not infringe on freedoms or go against religions’ as Islamic law did not oblige women to wear the veil, said Ahmad Sharbini.
The burqa was widely used by extremists and conflicted with ‘norms in Egyptian society’, he said.
Egypt has cracked down on Islamists including the Muslim Brotherhood, who were ousted from the presidency in 2013.
In September 75 were sentenced to death over a sit-in protest by Islamists in a trial which included senior leaders of the Brotherhood.
On Sunday 19 people linked to the attack on Christians near a monastery in central Egypt last week were killed in a shootout with police.
In addition Egypt believes it has killed around 450 jihadists in a long-running campaign against ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula.
A number of Western countries have banned the burqa, beginning with France in 2010.
The European Court of Human Rights later upheld the prohibition, saying it accepted France’s argument that it helped its citizens live together.
Read more: From 2018/11/03