… Muslim countries are falling all over themselves to ban exactly those garments. Algeria’s already banned them in the workplace; Egypt’s on its way to a more comprehensive ban.

What is striking … is that scholars at al-Azhar, the highest seat of Sunni authority in Egypt, back banning the niqab. While al-Azhar supports the hijab, it said the full-face veil is a step too far.

One of the most outspoken critics of the niqab is Amina Nasir, a member of parliament and a professor of philosophy at al-Azhar University. She described the full-face veil as a threat to national security.

“The full-face veils have nothing to do with the Islamic religion at all,” Nasir said. “It even contradicts some of the verses of the Holy Quran.”

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