77 female lecturers sue Cairo University President for banning niqab among staff

Seventy-seven niqab-wearing female lecturers at the Cairo University, Egypt, have sued the institution's President,  Gaber Nassar, one week after he banned niqab wearing among staff.

Muslim women wearing the niqab

According to online newspaper Aswat Masriya, the Cairo University administration drew the ire of the lecturers after its announced last Tuesday that "it is not permitted for female faculty ... in all colleges and institutes, to give lectures, tutorials, attend labs or deliver scientific training while wearing the niqab."

The niqab, a veil which covers all of the face apart from the eyes, is worn by some Muslim women in public as a sign of modesty.

According to the head of the Cairo Center for Political and Legal Studies, Ahmed Mahran, who spoke Aswat Masriya, the complainants approached him to file a suit against Nassar following his decision over the veils.

Mahran said the group he represents includes women who do not wear niqabs but are in support of their cause, adding that procedures to file the case will begin on Saturday.

But the institution's President has said his decision to ban the niqab was taken in public interest and for the benefit of education.

Nassar argued that his right to issue executive regulatory by-laws is backed by Law 49 of 1972 and decree 809 of 1975.

gathered that Cairo University is Egypt's oldest higher education institution.

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