In a move that may surprise many in the West, a declaration by a leading Egyptian cleric that women will not be allowed to wear veils in women-only areas of Cairo University has sparked demonstrations by female students. The new rules mean students wearing veils are not allowed to enter their dormitories or classes, but it seems many women choose to remain covered. Veils are common in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan. Whether the Koran requires veils or headscarves to be worn is a highly contentious issue in Islamic countries. In secular Turkey, the president’s wife is the first First Lady to ever wear a headscarf, which in itself was an election issue.
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