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77 Cairo University Faculty Members To File Lawsuit Over Niqab Ban

Will Cairo University be sued? Several employees have filed complaints against university president Gaber Nassar following the recent ruling.

Controversy continues to rock Cairo University after the decision by the university's president last week to ban Faculty members from wearing the Niqab may lead to a lawsuit by faculty members.

On Tuesday September 29th the Cairo University administration placed a ban on the niqab for it faculty expressing 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." 

According to Aswat Masriya, this decision is being met by a unified opposition of 77 faculty members who are allegedly preparing a lawsuit against the university president, Gaber Nassar, for issuing the ban at Egypt’s oldest higher education institution. Speaking with Ahmed Mahran, the head of Cairo Center for Political and Legal Studies, Aswat Masriya claims that the procedures to file the case before the Administrative Court will start on Saturday.

It should be noted that not all 77 faculty members filing complaints actually wear niqabs, but are standing in solidarity with their colleagues affected by the ban. Trying to defend his decision, president Nasser points to Law 49 of 1972 and decree 809 of 1975, which give him the right to execute regulatory by-laws. Making the case that his decision is shared, the president claims that his proposal was presented to the deans of all Cairo University faculties, which he claims agreed with the ban, even though not one of them have made a public statement on this widely controversial issue.

If this case reaches trial, it will have huge implications as it will set a legal precedent that will either allow or outlaw institutions from banning the controversial Niqab.