Egypt proposes bill to ban Niqab in public places

A-woman-wearing-thefull-face-viel
A Muslim woman observing the niqab, a face veil

A member of the Egyptian parliament has proposed a bill to prohibit Niqab – full-face veils – in public places, local media sources reported on Sunday.

Ghada Agami, the deputy chairman of the Egyptian parliament’s foreign affairs committee, has submitted a draft law to the country’s House of Representatives, prohibiting the wearing of the full-face veil in public places, referring to what she said: “has become a source of sedition in Egyptian society in recent years.”

The bill, which was reported to have received huge support from various state-owned media, suggested an EGP1,000 ($55.81) fine for any women who wear Niqab in public places. The bill also stipulated that the punishment should be doubled in case of the violation repetition.

Agami told state-owned Ahram Online that the bill came as a result of “the increasing number of terrorist attacks carried out by individuals under the Niqab covered.”

It [the bill] aims to change the moderate character of Islam in Egypt and reflects the extremist ideology of Salafist conservatives’ movements,” the Egyptian parliamentarian explained, noting to a recent law by the Algerian government, which banned women from wearing the full-face veils in workplaces.

“France has also had the same ban since 2010 after it had determined that it is necessary from a security standpoint and for protecting society from divisions,” she pointed out, stressing that women “can wear the Niqab inside their homes, but citizens must reveal their faces in public places and official institution.”

Agami was the owner of a parliament bill – which was rejected by the General Union of Egyptian Abroad – that had called for enforcing citizens who are living abroad to transfer $200 to support the Egyptian economy. She was also reported to be the one behind the draft law, which had called for an increase in the transfer fees of the Egyptian bodies returning home to be buried.

The MP was also the owner of the parliament’s “birth-control and family planning” bill, which stipulated that the state subsidies should be revoked for families with more than three children. Agami was one of the main supporters of the Egyptian government’s move to concede the two islands, dubbed Tiran and Sanafir, to Saudi Arabia, an agreement that has caused outrage among the majority of the Egyptian public and the country’s embattled political opposition.