Islamic rights

Published on Al-Ahrm weekly online, by Reem Leila, Sept 4, 2014.

A recent court ruling by the Administrative Court refutes the European Court of Human Rights’ take on the niqab. On 1 July, the Kafr Al-Sheikh Administrative Court (AC), headed by Counselor Mohamed Abdel-Wahab Khafagi, issued a ruling that allows working women who wear the niqab (the face veil prescribed by Wahhabi and Salafi strands of Islam) the right to wear it in public and at their place of work. The ruling cancels an earlier decision by former minister of health Maha Al-Rabbat, who had banned the plaintiff, a nurse named Amal Mohamed Ibrahim, from wearing the niqab during work hours. According to the court ruling, the face veil is a matter of personal freedom provided that the employee otherwise abides by the work uniform.  

The ruling has been seized on by various human rights organisations in Egypt and the Arab world as evidence that Egyptian courts will go a step further than the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which upheld France’s niqab ban in a case brought against the French government last November. The case involved a Muslim French plaintiff who felt the law restricted her freedom to live according to Islamic regulations.

The ECHR stated that the ban did not breach the European Convention of Human Rights. France’s ban of the niqab went into effect in April 2011, sparking fierce debate between believers in religious freedom and those who think the veil is a restrictive measure that contravenes France’s secularism. The French court’s ruling came a few days after France’s Cour de Cassation, the country’s highest court, upheld the firing of a nursery worker for “serious misconduct” after she arrived for work wearing a veil.

The woman says she will appeal to the ECHR. The ECHR had previously upheld France’s ban on the wearing of headscarves in educational establishments, and its regulation requiring the removal of scarves, veils and turbans. The woman who filed the niqab case with the ECHR, who hasn’t been named, drew upon several articles of the European Convention of Human Rights, which the court was set up to protect, citing the right to private and family life as well as freedom of thought, conscience and religion. She added that no one had forced her to wear the niqab. France charges a fine of €150 or $205 for anyone wearing the face veil, which can be substituted with community service …;

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some Related Links:

find on en.wikipedia and Google Images:

Other Links:

The freedoms of living without money, on Realsociology, Sept 6, 2014;

Guantanamo Bay: An Untold History of Torture and Resistance, on Russia Tday RT, Sept 6, 2014;

Ukraine’s killing fields in 10 stories: RT reporter goes to Lugansk and Donetsk, on Russia Tday RT, Sept 6, 2014;

Snowden leak exposes US plan to spy on foreign businesses for profit, on Russia Tday RT, Sept 5, 2014;

CIA Emails Expose Access Journalist at Work, on Dissident Voice, by Jonathan Cook, Sept 5, 2014;

Ahmed Seif el-Islam, leading light of Egypt human rights, has died (… on Wednesday aged 63. He had been in coma for several days following heart surgery …), on The Guardian, by Patrick Kingsley, Aug 27, 2014: Seif el-Islam represented political activists and protesters, including his son, Alaa, and his daughter, Sanaa …;

Egypt: Find on Al-Ahrm weekly online, Sept 4, 2014:

  • Too late for the dead, by Amany Maged: After a year of bloodshed, are members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood pursuing a deal with the state? …;
  • Russian opportunities, by Niveen Wahish: Trade with Russia is set to increase as a result of EU sanctions and a planned free-trade agreement …;
  • The Qatari connection, by Gamal Essam El-Din: Sources say ousted president Mohamed Morsi will soon be referred to trial on charges of passing national secrets to Qatar …;
  • Promises, promises, by Amirah Ibrahim: While the US says it will send Egypt 10 Apache helicopters to help fight terrorists in Sinai, Egypt’s military is looking to Russia for aid. The US administration is continuing its cat-and-mouse game with the Egyptian army, a further sign of strained relations between the US and Egypt since the ousting of former president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 …;

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