For secular identity, Syria bans full-face veils at universities

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Apdamacus: Syria has banned the face-covering Islamic veil from the country’s universities.The education ministry’s ban on the niqab comes as similar moves in Europe spark cries of discrimination against Muslims.An official at the ministry says the ban, which affects public and private universities, is only against the niqab — a full veil that reveals only a woman’s eyes — not headscarves, and aims to protect Syria’s secular identity. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.The niqab is “inconsistent with the values and ethics of academic traditions”, said minister of higher education, Ghaith Barakat.The billowing black robe known as a niqab is not widespread in Syria, although it has become more common recently. Its growing popularity has not gone unnoticed in a country governed by a secular, authoritarian regime.

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