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    In this June 28, 2014 file photo veiled women attend a speech by preacher Pierre Vogel, in Offenbach, near Frankfurt, Germany. A law that forbids any kind of full-face covering, including Islamic veils such as the niqab or burqa, has come into force in Austria Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Only a small number of Muslim women in Austria wear full-face veils, but they have become a target for right-wing groups and political parties. France and Belgium have similar laws and the nationalist Alternative for Germany party is calling for a burqa ban there too

    Egypt May Soon Ban Niqabs From Public Places - Reports

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    The debate over a full-face veil ban has ongoing in Egypt for some time already, ever since the Egyptian government took strong, decisive action against political Islam in the wake of the ouster of Islamist President Muhammad Morsi back in 2013.

    Egyptian lawmaker Ghada Ajami told Egyptian Streets in a phone interview on Sunday that she had introduced to the country’s parliament a bill that would ban the face veil in public places, citing her concerns over a high percentage of crimes being committed in niqabs.

    In the event of non-abidance, the bill stipulates 1,000 EGP ($55) in fines being slapped on women who continue to wear the niqab in public places like restaurants, parks or social and educational institutions. Repeated offenses will carry even higher fines, if the bill becomes law. 

    Ajami, who is a member of the Foreign Relations Committee of the House of Representatives, told the Egyptian media outlet that she is going to officially present her draft to the parliament, with an open discussion of it slated for November 11.

    "Security troubles in Egypt are accelerating these bold decisions in light of attempts to target state institutions and increasing criminal and terrorist crime rates," she was earlier cited as saying by Cairo Scene.

    By submitting the bill she essentially means to call attention to arrays of men who use women’s veils to commit crimes, including horrendous terrorist acts, in public spots.

    “We are currently in an ongoing war against terrorism, we should do our best to end it, the veil or niqab is used by many people as a cover for the crimes that they are committing; it is not part of the personal freedom as some say,” she explained.

    Her point of view is being echoed by another lawmaker, Mohamed Abu Hamed, who is said to have been leading the drive to outlaw niqabs in the country.

    “Some of the terrorist attacks that happened in the past were carried out by people wearing the niqab,” said Mohamed Abu Hamed, a lawmaker leading the drive for banning the niqab in Egypt. “Some men even wear them to escape police and commit crimes,” The Arab Weekly cited him as saying.

    Egypt appears to have resorted to action after an earlier broad discussion on niqab issue, following in the footsteps of another North-African state, Algeria, barring women from wearing the face veil to work.

    The Egyptian government has clamped down on political Islam following the ouster of Islamist President Muhammad Morsi, affiliated with the now banned Muslim Brotherhood, in 2013. Salafist political groups, among which niqabs are especially popular, continue to operate in Egypt but their leverage has to a great extent been diminished.

    READ MORE: 'Wardrobe Malfunction': Islamic Council Norway Hires Niqab Backer to Top Role

    Separately, a range of European nations recently banned burqas, loose floor-length garments, from public spaces, including Denmark, Austria, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, with the vast majority justifying the new legislation with similar security concerns.

    Related:

    Danish Policewoman Probed for Hugging Niqab-Wearing Protester
    'My Hero' vs 'Racist': Public Divided Over UK Bus Driver Who Confronted Niqab
    'Irreparable Harm': Second Judge in Canada Suspends Implementation of Niqab Ban
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    veil, niqab, Salafists, clothes, religion, Muslims, Algeria, Egypt
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