09 June 2007

Court abolishes AUC niqab ban

Iman al-Zainy, who sued the American University of Cairo (AUC) in 2001 after not being allowed to enter its campus while wearing a niqab, has won her case against the university. The High Administrative Court has ruled that the AUC had no right to stop people wearing the niqab from entering its grounds, as such a policy was a violation of the religious freedom of the people involved.

AUC had claimed that its ban on the niqab stemmed from security concerns. The court's decision leaves the door open for the university to require women wearing the niqab to show their face to a female security officer.

One of Zainy's lawyers, Hossam Bahgat, said the decision affirmed "women's autonomy over their body and dress code" (BBC).

It seems that reason has won the day.

[This post was written in Toronto.]

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