Tag Archives: Al Azhar

Is Niqab Part Of Muslim Religion?

The issue of whether a Muslim girl should be allowed to wear the niqab(face veil) arises when Muslim confront secular procedures in Western nations, but a new controversy over this issue has arisen in Egypt. The nation’s leading cleric, Mohammed Tantawi said that wearing of the niqab has nothing to do with the Muslim religion and he will not allow it or the chador to be worn by girls who attend schools run by Al-Azhar University. About two dozen Muslim females wearing the niqab protested at state-run Cairo University which does not allow it to be worn in classes. They told reporters denying them the right to wear their niqab was a blow to their freedom of speech and dress.

In the Middle East, the niqab is associated with Salafism, an ultra conservative school of thought that is practiced mainly in Saudi Arabia. Salafis oppose Al Azhar’s religious teachings. It will be interesting to see how this issue plays out in the Middle East and other Muslim nations.

Egyptian Leader Denounced For Shaking Israeli Hand!

A member of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Egyptian parliament denounced the Grand Sheikh of Al Azahr, Mohamed Sayed Tantwy, regarding his recent comment in an Arab newspaper in which he expressed his desire to meet any Israeli officials who wanted to come to Egypt to discuss issues. He said his office was open to anyone interested in pursuing the peace process. The Sheikh was previously criticized for daring to actually shake hands with Israeli President Shimon Peres. His response to the comments was: “What did you want me to do, refuse to shake hands with a president of a country we are at peace with?”

A major problem in attaining peace in the Middle East is the presence of powerful forces which oppose working with members of the Israeli Peace Now movement on the ground any Israeli, by definition, is an enemy. It is time for people of good will to work with one another because the alternative is maintaining the status quo for another half century.