First Published: 2013-02-20

 

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

 

Egypt’s 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 - Egypt’s 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 man’s commitment to his faith. But Egypt’s 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.

 

CIA chief not optimistic about future for unified Syria

Bloody escalation in Turkey-PKK confrontations

Tunisia parliament to sack Prime Minister Habib Essid

Arab coalition denies blocking Yemen aid

First Syria families trickle out of besieged Aleppo

Turkey jails journalists as Erdogan rebukes Western critics

Aleppo residents wary of 'death corridors'

Maternity hospital bombed in Syria's Idlib

Up to 1 million more Iraqis risk being displaced

Erdogan accuses US general of 'backing putschists'

'Traitor's graveyard' for coup plotters in Turkey

Government team says leaving UN-backed Yemen talks

Turkey says army to keep up fight against ISIS

Palestinian 'long shot' legal fight over 1917 British declaration

EU enlargement chief warns Turkey to respect rule of law

IS executes 24 civilians after seizing Syria village

French PM mulls temporary ban on foreign-funded mosques

Egypt education system under spotlight

Syria rebels prevent civilians from leaving Aleppo

Turkey widens post-coup purge to businessmen

US says will continue to consider Nusra security threat

Egypt former anti-graft head gets jail term for exaggeration

Rebels form 'supreme council' to run war-torn Yemen

France, Britain call for end to Aleppo siege

Al-Qaeda OKs breaking ties with Syria affiliate

Croatia arrests Kurdish man wanted by Turkey

Tunisian army kills two 'terrorists'

Turkey sees over 40% drop in visitors

Assad offers amnesty to Syria rebels if they surrender

Study says lack of exercise cost world $67.5 billion

Second France church attacker formally identified

Egypt Christians hope for end to discrimination with new law

HRW accuses Syria, Russia of using banned cluster munitions

Post-coup Turkey continues military shake-up

Clinton camp accuses Trump of inviting foreign spying

Morocco arrests 52 suspects planning to set up ISIS branch

Coalition opens formal investigation into Syria civilian deaths

Pope to journalists: 'World at war', but not a religious war

Turkey warns post-coup crackdown ‘not completed yet’

Egypt top Muslim cleric denounces murder of French priest

Russia denies meddling in US election campaign

Syria regime kills 16 civilians in Aleppo assault

Killer of France priest was 'Syria obsessed time-bomb'

Netanyahu defends war record after protest by parents of dead soldiers

44 dead in double bomb blast in Syria Kurdish city