Syria Veil Ban: Full Islamic Veil Or Niqab Banned In Universities
Syria Veil Ban: Syrian Universities Ban Women From Wearing Niqab
Syria is one of the few countries in the world that has decided to ban the wearing of the full Islamic veil known as the Niqab. The Syrian niqab ban applies to Female professors, staff and students at Syria's universities and colleges.
"We have given directives to all universities to ban niqab-wearing women from registering," a government official in Damascus told The Associated Press on Monday.
The order affects both public and private universities and aims to protect Syria's secular identity, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the issue. Hundreds of primary school teachers who were wearing the niqab at government-run schools were transferred last month to administrative jobs, he added.
Syria joins France is instituting some sort of veil ban or restriction. Earlier in May, France banned veils in public places.
The Syrian ban does not apply to the head scarf or hijab.
The niqab is not widespread in Syria, although it has become more common in recent years, a development that has not gone unnoticed by the authoritarian government.
"We are witnessing a rapid income gap growing in Syria — there is a wealthy ostentatious class of people who are making money and wearing European clothes," said Joshua Landis, an American professor and Syria expert who runs a blog called Syria Comment.
The lower classes are feeling the squeeze, he said.
"It's almost inevitable that there's going to be backlash. The worry is that it's going to find its expression in greater Islamic radicalism," Landis said.
Turkey is the only other Islamic country that has a ban in effect against veils or niqabs.