CAIRO: A campaign to reduce prices for niqabi customers has been launched on social media in reaction to an initiative demanding the ban of the full-face veil in certain public places.
Under an Arabic hashtag dubbed “in solidarity with the campaign to offer sales to niqabis,” some privately-owned businesses offered to make price reductions to niqabi women.
Those who offered discounted prices included stores selling clothes for women in niqab.
Many of the offers circulated on social media were posted by Nour Salafist Party. Salafis are known for their strict interpretation of Islamic law; most men wear long beards, and most women choose to wear veils covering all but their eyes.
The anti-niqab initiative was launched by a number of public figures, including Nabil Zaki, spokesperson of the social party of Tagammu, Hoda Badran, head of the General Federation of Egyptian Women, Samir Eleish, secretary-general of Constitutional Life Seminar and Nour al-Hoda, a leading politician at the Nasserite Party.
“Our Egyptian society is entitled to prevent jeopardizing its identity and culture,” Badran said during the press conference on launching the initiative.
“This is human rights; to protect our society, small and large, to protect our patients who encounter this, protect our students who must see the face of that lady who teaches them, and most importantly, national security,” Badran during the news conference launching the initiative.
The initiative, which promises to propose to their idea to the parliament, says that niqab mars the Egyptian identity, poses security threats and impedes social interaction. It also argues that niqab is not obliged by Islam, which is a contested issue among theologians, but mainstream Islamic scholars have said it is not obligatory.