Authorities in Syria banned wearing the niqab, a veil that covers the face, in public universities earlier this week. The niqab has become increasingly popular in the secular country. Authorities banned the garment in an effort to prevent the country from turning to radical Islam, according to CBS News.
One source told CBS news that the Minister of Education, Ghyath Barakat, "totally rejected [the niqab] phenomena which contradicts with the academic values and traditional morals and ethics of the Syrian society." The government has already reassigned hundreds of niqab-wearing school-teachers to administrative offices where they would not have contact with students, according to the Associated Press.
Syria's decision comes just days after France's lower house of parliament approved a ban the burqa in a 335 to 1 vote. Belgium, the Netherlands and also have similar bans on the garment. Spain is also considering banning the burqa.
Media Resources: CBS News 7/18/10; Associated Press 7/19/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 7/13/10