Muslim conservatives are calling for the ouster of Egypt’s culture minister after he told an interviewer that the practice of women wearing veils is a regressive act.


CAIRO — A political and religious storm sparked by Egypt’s culture minister criticizing the ever-growing popularity of the Islamic veil snowballed Sunday into a fully fledged national affair.

Three days after Farouk Hosni described as “regressive” the increasing practice of wearing the veil, calls for his ouster mounted and debates on Muslim conservatism in the Arab world’s most populous country intensified.

Sources in parliament said that 80 lawmakers — both from Hosni’s ruling National Democratic Party and opposition movements — demanded an urgent debate over the minister’s comments.

“There was an age when our mothers went to university and worked without the veil. It is in that spirit that we grew up. So why this regression,” the minister asked in an interview published November 16 in the independent Al Masri Al Yom daily.



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