First Published: 2013-02-20

 

Brotherhood expansion in Egypt security system: Court allows policemen to grow beards

 

Egyptís Court rules out policemen may grow beards, ending decades-old convention barring them from making what is often seen as display of Islamic piety.

 

Middle East Online

Legal cover to protect appearance, but no supervision of acts

CAIRO - Egyptís High Administrative Court ruled on Wednesday that policemen may grow beards, ending a decades-old convention barring them from making what is often seen here as a display of Islamic piety.

Dozens of police officers were suspended from work in February for breaking the de facto ban on beards introduced under ousted President Hosni Mubarak. They had protested outside the Interior Ministry, calling on Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, who is bearded himself, to secure their reinstatement.

Court rejected a request by the Interior Ministry to let it suspend officers who defied the unwritten rule. "The court ruled ... that police officers have the right to grow beards," Judge Maher Abu el-Enin said.

Mubarak used the police to crush Islamist groups he saw as enemies of the state. During his rule, sporting any kind of beard precluded Egyptians from holding senior government posts.

Wednesday's decision backed a similar ruling by a lower court and the decision makes the verdict final. The Interior Ministry's spokesman was not immediately available to comment.

Many Islamic thinkers consider the beard to be a sign of a manís commitment to his faith. But Egyptís Grand Mufti, Ali Gomaa, once stated in a fatwa (religious edict) that prominent Islamic scholars disagreed on to what extent the beard is religiously mandatory for Muslim men.

Men across Egyptian society wear beards, including many leftists, but the pressure for ending the police ban came from religious officers.

Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, the state's most organized Islamist movement, has come to power through elections since the popular uprising that toppled Mubarak in February 2011.

The ruling is expected to raise worries among minority Christians, liberal-minded Muslims and others who fear that emboldened Islamists will try to force their beliefs and customs on society.

Morsi said during his campaign for the presidency that he had no objection to members of the security forces growing beards.

 

US says Iran supplied ballistic missile to Yemen rebels

UN 'appalled' at mass execution of jihadists in Iraq

Palestinians killed in continuing protests over Jerusalem occupation

Over half Syrian refugees in Lebanon live in 'extreme

Middle-class Egypt adapts as costs soar

Bourita: Extraordinary meeting between ECOWAS, Morocco to be held beginning of 2018

Saudi-led air strikes, clashes as Yemen forces battle rebels

Sahel force funding shows terrorism fight is Saudi 'priority'

Iraq's Sistani says Hashed should be under government control

Somalia's budget meets IMF terms

Israel PM questioned in graft probe

Lebanon approves bid for oil, gas exploration

US to present 'irrefutable evidence' of Iran violations

Istanbul 'to remove Gulen links' from street names

Iraq hangs 38 jihadists

Pence to visit Middle East despite controversy

Hamas chief calls for continued Jerusalem protests

EU to repatriate 15,000 migrants from Libya in two months

Syria Kurds fear US ally will desert them after IS defeat

Israeli drugmaker Teva to cut 14,000 jobs over two years

Turkey rescues 51 migrants stranded on rocks

Saudi, UAE hold talks with Yemen Islamists

18 killed after bomber strikes Mogadishu police academy

Israeli air strikes target Hamas military facilities

US-led air strikes kill 23 civilians in Syria

Israel union calls nationwide strike over pharmaceutical giant job cuts

UN envoy urges Putin to press Assad for elections

Yemen's Huthi rebels release pro-Saleh media staff

Israel intelligence minister invites Saudi prince to visit

Saudi-led strikes kill 30 in rebel-run Yemen prison

Saudi king says Palestinians have 'right' to Jerusalem

Erdogan urges world to recognise Jerusalem as Palestinian capital

Saudi King says determined to confront corruption

South Sudan needs $1.7 billion humanitarian aid in 2018

UAE oil giant floats 10 percent of retail arm to strong interest

US skeptical about Putin's declaration of military victory in Syria

Growing concern about rise of far-right in Austria

Saudi, UAE seeks to help West Africa fight terrorism

Somali journalist dies after Mogadishu bombing

Israeli sentenced to four years for arson attack on church

Erdogan risks sabotaging fragile relations with Israel

6.2-magnitude earthquake strikes Iran

Two Gazans killed by Israeli Ďstrikeí, Israel denies claim

French FM accuses Iran of carving out Ďaxisí of influence

Over 170 dead after South Sudan rival cattle herders clash