Now Reading
Is Egypt Really Banning Schoolgirls from Wearing Headscarves?

Is Egypt Really Banning Schoolgirls from Wearing Headscarves?

Last week Egyptian education minister, Moheb Al-Refai, caused a bit of a stir when his comments regarding the hijab in primary schools were interpreted as a sign of an upcoming ban for girls.

While Al-Refai may not have explicitly called for a ban on the hijab for prepubescent schoolgirls, his sentiments were clear. Stating that Islam does not require girls to wear hijab before puberty, Al-Refai expressed his displeasure with the notion of a uniform hijab.

“Imposing the Islamic headscarf on primary level students by some people is unacceptable,” he said. “They are just children, they have to move freely and carry out activities.”

 Islam does not require girls to wear hijab before puberty

One has to wonder if these anti-hijab sentiments have anything to do with the ongoing push for hijab bans in Europe. France has banned the hijab in public schools and universities, as well as government institutions, since 2004.  Since then, there have been large groups pushing for the same in other European countries, such as the United Kingdom, Germany, and Spain. Belgium and the Netherlands have banned any type of veil covering the face, and there are currently proposals to push for the same in Norway and Switzerland.

The Turkish government, known for its attempts to associate itself culturally and economically with the largely non-Muslim European continent, had a public ban on the hijab since 1997 until it was lifted just last year. Morocco— another western tourist favorite— has some restrictions and discrimination against hijab as well.

…nothing should be pushed on girls before puberty— even going “hijab-less.”

Egypt did, in fact, see a ban on hijab for girls under 12 in 1994. The law was deemed unconstitutional two years later by the Supreme Court after much pushback. However, discourse in the country regarding the hijab is quite diverse. Viewpoints vary widely, and earlier this year, a teacher made national news for beating a young girl and cutting off a lock of her hair for not wearing a hijab.

See Also

Perhaps Al-Refai has a point, that the hijab should not be pushed on girls before puberty. But the fact is that nothing should be pushed on girls before puberty— even going “hijab-less”.

More importantly, Al-Refai and other Egyptian leaders should be more concerned with the Egyptian public’s issues with their education system, rather than what a 10-year-old girl is wearing to school.


Image: Wikipedia 

View Comments (19)
  • Lets be clear on this, it isn’t the Egyptian Government which wants to ban Hijab and all other parts of Islam. It is the Egyptian army. The Muslim brotherhood are the elected Egyptian government. They are government people voted for. Then the army killed a bunch of people and arrested the government for daring to be elected in a free and fair election. The same thing applies to Turkey where elected governments try to remove the bans on Hijab and other Islamic practices while the army appoints puppet governments who reinstate it.

    • edrogen is a puppet of the army? are you crazy? and the ban on the hijab in Turkish universities was removed in the late 90s.
      so would the muslim brotherhood force girls to wear the hijab?

      • The government lifted the ban, the army and the judiciary it controls vetoed the removal of the ban. Erdogen can only make laws that the army lets him. Erdogen is someone chosen by the people while the army chooses themselves. Whatever the brotherhood did when they ruled it was the people’s choice as the people chose them. What Sisi undressing girls is only his perverted choice as he took power using force and not people wanting him to rule.

        • you are telling me that hijabs are still banned in Turkish universities?

          “Whatever the brotherhood did when they ruled it was the people’s choice as the people chose them.” so any elected government can do whatever they want. that is insane. so if the brotherhood were to ban the Coptic religion, that would be alright because they were elected.

          • Yes, the Turkish government reversed the ban. The vote was 80% to reverse the ban verses 20% to continue it. In Tukey elected politicians can only vote the way the army wants so the military controlled Education board stated they will ignore its legalisation until the military controlled Constitutional Court vetoed the legalisation and upheld the ban. So the ban is still there. Elected politicians do not rule Turkey, Turkey is a military dictatorship. Elected politicians are only allowed to legislate within the limits that the army allows them.

          • If Turkey was a democracy the elected government would tell the army what to do. Because it is a military dictatorship the army tells the elected government what to do, and removes elected governments whenever it wants. The head scarf ban laws are still there, because elected politicians have less power than un-elected secularists. But you would be right in saying that the ban is no longer implemented as strictly as it once was or the army is as powerful as they were in the 1980s and before.

          • ok. so now the army is not the all powerful entity it once was. I’ve never claimed turkey was a democracy. muslims like to claim it to be an example of a muslim democracy. I can’t think of a muslim democracy, maybe Tunisia. there are certainly no muslim secular democracies.

          • Secularists hold Turkey as an example of secular democracy. Muslims do not want secularism, so it is only forced on them. If given the chance to vote they always vote for a system that takes its inspiration from their own religion and not western culture and morals. In most cases the party that wins free and fair elections are arrested for the crime of winning a free and fair election and this is done in the name of secular democracy and supported by the west.

          • yes most muslims aren’t secularists. but I don’t know of any western secularists that hold turkey up as and example of secularism. they begin Islamic studies at the age of 9 and edrogen wants to lower that to 6. yes, unfortunately muslims, the vast vast majority want islam as the driving force behind their laws.

            “In most cases the party that wins free and fair elections are arrested for the crime of winning a free and fair election” other than the shah (and he was actually already in power) and morsi, I can’t think of any? but then again there are few ‘free and fair’ elections in the Islamic world.

          • It has happened all over. Algeria is a good example. When there were elections there, France actually said they would invade if the Islamist were allowed to take power. When the army did a coup the Western powers said “sometimes you have to use undemocratic means to secure democracy”. Which sort of means, democracy only gives Africans and Asians the right to vote for who we tell them to vote for. There are other examples too, like Hamas winning the elections in the Palestinian territories. Muslims have the right to teach their children Islam. And the dictators need to be removed for Muslims to have this right.

          • hamas has been in charge of gaza since they were elected.

            “Muslims have the right to teach their children Islam” obviously.

            “And the dictators need to be removed for Muslims to have this right.” I’m no fan of dictators, but this isn’t even close to a true statement.
            ok Algeria was ruled by france until what the 70s? have they ever had ‘free and fair elections’?
            anyway, this is the number one problem with islam, it lacks separation of religion and governance.

          • Hamas wan the election for all the Palestinian territories. Not just Gaza, But it doesn’t matter who wins the election. What matters more is who the west wants to rule. Algeria had an election in 1992, FIS were set to win. So there was a coup. If you have a problem with Islam not separating church and state, that is your problem. Muslims are entitled to rule themselves by their religion. And your belief in democracy doesn’t go beyond people voting for other than who you order them to vote for. At least when it comes to the lesser races. This is the problem with the west and the so called white man’s burden. This is why blacks were enslaved and carried off across the Atlantic, this was the justification of colonialism. How lesser races are not able to rule themselves so need white masters. And this is why the west supports these puppet dictatorships all over the Muslim world. These are dictatorships you might support over people electing an Islamic government. But the people in those countries do not support being ruled by the dictatorships. So these dictatorships will be removed.

          • so why don’t they rule in the west bank? so Algeria hasn’t had and election since 92?

            “Muslims are entitled to rule themselves by their religion” so if muslims enslave people as allowed in islam, that is ok? so you are ok with fgm? men marrying 9 year-old girls?
            what is the white man’s burden?
            democracy was the justification for colonialism? tht doesn’t make any sense. most of the Europeans weren’t democratic during the age of colonialism.
            by all means, remove dictators. I don’t get why y’all allow them in the first place.

          • Hamas don’t rule the West Bank because elections only matter to people who agree with the winning side.
            Democracy is hypocrisy.

            In 92 the people voted and FIS had a clear victory. So they were banned for the crime of winning an election.
            There have been elections since then, but the type where people are told who to vote for. And the only people allowed to stand are the people the army allows to stand.
            The people made their choice in 92, and every election since than has been the army’s choice.

            The something has happened in Egypt. In most countries such elections will never be allowed to take place, In the West supports dictators in those countries. And When the West supports elections they do so only if the West themselves are allowed to dictate who is allowed to stand for elections. This is the case in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

            When it comes to what age women are allowed to get married at or what people do with their own private parts. It is up to the government of those countries to decide. It isn’t a white privilege to dictate to brown people when they can and can’t get married.
            But this is just a racist excuse that white supremacists use to impose their will on brown countries. The dictators who rule Algeria and Egypt do not differ on the age of consent or what happens to girls vaginas.
            And it is strange you bring up Slavery in Muslim countries when the West practiced it in a much larger scale in numbers as well as cruelty long after western countries became secular democracies.

            I think you have miss understood what a dictator is?
            People do not allow dictators to take power. If people allowed them to take power they wont be dictators. They would be democratically elected rulers. These dictators were imposed.
            Sometimes they were imposed by western colonialists rulers to replace them after they left. And at other times they were imposed by coups organised by the CIA or MI6.
            Any Muslim would would attempt to remove a dictator would be regarded as a terrorist.
            Even when the attempt is to win an election.
            So FIS are terrorists for winning and election in Algeria and MB are for winning the election in Egypt.

            Muslims do need to remove dictators, but they need no advice from the supporters of those dictators on how to do it or what to rule by after the dictators are removed. Muslims have their Islam and you have your democracy(hypocrisy).

          • so democracy is hypocrisy because an African nation doesn’t understand how it works. that is insane. I don’t know much about Algerian politics, but it sounds to me like they don’t understand the concept of democracy.

            how does an entire country allow a dictator to be imposed on them?

            “When it comes to what age women are allowed to get married at or what people do with their own private parts. It is up to the government of those countries to decide.” so if a muslim country elects an Islamic government and they impose the hadd punishments, you think this is ok? or even good?



    • Peace be upon you. I am Muslim, yet I was raised Catholic. Islam is a religion, Muslims are not a race. I do not engage in sexual intercourse with goats, nor does my husband (also a revert).

Leave a Reply

Scroll To Top