Egyptian teacher sentenced for cutting girls’ unveiled hair

Updated 07 November 2012
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Egyptian teacher sentenced for cutting girls’ unveiled hair

CAIRO: An Egyptian school teacher received a six-month suspended jail sentence on Tuesday for cutting the hair of two 12-year-old girl pupils who were not wearing headscarves, a judicial source said.
Iman Abu Bakr Kilany, a science teacher who herself wears a niqab — a veil that also covers her face — said last month she had been removed from the school in the southern town of Luxor after complaints by relatives of the girls — the only two in her class who did not wear headscarves.
She said she was being moved to an administrative job and docked one month’s salary.
Egyptian human rights groups and women’s organizations condemned the incident as an example of hard-liners trying to impose their values on others since Islamists took power in Egypt.
Kilany’s lawyer said the verdict was harsh and that she would appeal, according to the state news agency MENA.
Many Egyptian women wear the headscarf, but the country’s Islamic scholars generally say it should be done out of free choice. That view is shared by the Muslim Brotherhood, the group that propelled Mohamed Mursi to the presidency in June.
Kilany said last month she had asked all her girl students to put on the headscarf because it was required for girls older than 10 — a view disputed by many Muslims.
While Mursi and his administration have repeatedly said they will not seek to impose strict Islamic codes of behavior, the rise to prominence of an array of Islamist groups has alarmed more secular-minded Egyptians and the sizeable Christian minority.
In one headline-grabbing incident, a young man out with his fiancée was stabbed to death by three Islamist zealots in Suez in July. The killers were sentenced to 15 years in jail.


Temporary humanitarian ceasefire in Daesh-held area of south Damascus

Updated 47 min 39 sec ago
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Temporary humanitarian ceasefire in Daesh-held area of south Damascus

BEIRUT: A temporary humanitarian ceasefire is in place to allow women, children and the elderly to evacuate the Daesh-held area of Al-Hajjar Al-Aswad in south Damascus, Syrian state media said on Monday citing a military source.
The Syrian army and its allies have been battling for weeks to recapture the tiny Daesh enclave, the last area outside government control in or around the capital.
On Sunday, state media denied a war monitor’s report that fighters had begun withdrawing from the area toward Daesh territory in eastern Syria under a surrender deal.
The temporary ceasefire came into effect on Sunday night and will end at 12pm and the army offensive will start again immediately, state media cited the military source as saying.
The war monitor, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, reported early on Monday that buses had already started leaving south Damascus for the Daesh areas in eastern Syria.
The ultra-hardline militant group now controls only the tiny pocket in south Damascus and two besieged desert areas in eastern Syria, while another insurgent group that has pledged loyalty to it holds a small enclave in the southwest.
Pro-Syrian government forces have staged an intensive operation to recover Daesh’s south Damascus pocket in Al-Hajjar Al-Aswad and the adjacent Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp since driving rebels from eastern Ghouta in April.