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Egypt: MP slams discrimination against Muslim women wearing hijab

Women in Egypt on July 1, 2020 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]
Women in Egypt on July 1, 2020 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]

An Egyptian parliamentarian has called on the relevant authorities to intervene and put an end to the discriminatory practices of some cafes and restaurants, as well as real estate development companies.

Samira El-Gazzar said that such businesses discriminate against Muslim women wearing hijab. She made her comments after a BBC investigation established the existence of such discrimination within Egyptian society.

According to the BBC investigation, restaurants and cafes have refused to serve women in hijab, while some real estate companies have refused to sell homes to them. The MP expressed her rejection of such practices, which she described as "discriminatory and racist". She stressed that they contradict the values of Egyptian society wherein the majority of women wear the veil.

Amira Saber MP also criticised the kind of discrimination exposed by the BBC. "If we continue on this path to discriminate against each other, we will live in closed bubbles in a society where no one understands the other" she said, adding that the Egyptian constitution clearly prohibits such discrimination. "I will certainly use my parliamentary position to ask officials in the government how we can ensure that this does not happen again. If it happens, the guilty must be punished."

Multiple reports in recent years have revealed that women wearing hijab are prevented from employment and refused service in public places. They have also been banned from attending concerts or using certain beaches. Moreover, women in modest swimwear have been banned from using swimming pools.

READ: Pharmacist beaten up by colleagues for not wearing hijab freed from jail

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