Initially published in Egypt’s Ahram
A call by Egyptian journalist Cherif Choubachy for veiled Muslim women to take off their headscarves (hijab) has stirred widespread controversy in Egypt. Choubachy has also proposed a “take off the veil” rally to be held at Cairo’s Tahrir Square. While some have welcomed Choubachy’s proposal, others vehemently oppose the idea. A senior official at Al-Azhar, Egypt’s highest Sunni Islamic institution rejected the call, stressing that the head-cover is a religious must for female Muslims once they reach puberty.Heated discussions spread to talk shows, and social media, with pro- and anti-veil trading accusations and counter-accusations.
The responses to Choubachy’s proposal have exposed the shallow, mediocre approach to contentious, sensitive topics, and the inability of society to tackle different viewpoints in a constructive manner.
The debate about Islamic dress code for women is not new. On a personal level, as for any Egyptian female, this issue…
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