Apr. 25, 2016 15:00
CAIRO: Endowment Minister Mokhtar Gomaa labeled anti-niqab initiatives “provocative” in a Sunday TV interview, continuing to say he adopts the opinion that the face veil is not obligatory.
“These campaigns provoke people’s feelings; I am telling you, if you do not look at it from a religious perspective and looked adopted a personal freedom outlook, everyone is free [to dress as they wish],” Gomaa said in an interview on Sada el-Balad.
Such campaigns may encourage someone to demand that hijab be banned, which would “shock the society in something relating to people’s freedom, communities and Islamic fundamentals; this is harmful and nurtures extremism,” the minister added.
Gomaa listed examples of how niqab in the public sphere may be used for criminal purposes, such as in beggary, medicine, litigation and other situations.
Founders of the anti-niqab (face veil) initiative will be investigated for “threatening national security and societal peace,” according to an attorney-general decision April 17 in reaction to a lawsuit filed against them.
The initiative promises to propose to their idea to the parliament and demands the face veil be banned at universities, schools, hospitals and government agencies.