Egypt court rules policemen may grow Islamic beards

Ruling ends decades-old ban of beards in police force enforced in Mubarak era; move seen as victory for often bearded Muslim Brotherhood.

By REUTERS
February 20, 2013 22:30
1 minute read.
Egyptian police officers protesting over beards.

Egyptian police officers protesting over beards 370. (photo credit: Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

CAIRO - An Egyptian court ruled on Wednesday that policemen may grow beards, ending a decades-old convention barring them from making what is often seen here as a display of Islamic piety.

Dozens of police officers were suspended from work in February for breaking the de facto ban on beards introduced under deposed President Hosni Mubarak. They had protested outside the Interior Ministry, calling on Islamist President Mohamed Morsi - who is bearded himself - to secure their reinstatement.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Cairo's High Administrative Court rejected a request by the Interior Ministry to let it suspend officers who defied the unwritten rule. "The court ruled ... that police officers have the right to grow beards," judge Maher Abu el-Enin said.

Mubarak used the police to crush Islamist groups he saw as enemies of the state. During his rule, sporting any kind of beard precluded Egyptians from holding senior government posts.

Wednesday's decision backed a similar ruling by a lower court and the decision makes the verdict final. The Interior Ministry's spokesman was not immediately available to comment.

Men across Egyptian society wear beards, including many leftists, but the pressure for ending the police ban came from religious officers who wish to emulate the Prophet Mohammad.

Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood, the state's most organized Islamist movement, has come to power through elections since the popular uprising that toppled Mubarak in February 2011.



The ruling is expected to raise worries among minority Christians, liberal-minded Muslims and others who fear that emboldened Islamists will try to force their beliefs and customs on society.

Morsi said during his campaign for the presidency that he had no objection to members of the security forces growing beards.

Related Content

July 22, 2018
Israel evacuates hundreds of Syrian 'White Helmets' in humanitarian effort

By SETH J. FRANTZMAN