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‘Veiled threats’ from Egypt’s nightclub owners

‘Veiled threats’ from Egypt’s nightclub owners

Alarmed at the country’s growing religious tilt, some businesses in Cairo are creating ‘hijab-free’ zones to attract a different clientele, reports Trends.

January 17, 2010 3:34 by



Egypt’s complicated class dynamics seem to play as much a role as any sort of religious struggle.

“I’m sure there’s an element of class warfare,” said one socialite. “It’s a remnant of the old days when the hijab was considered low class.”

Egypt’s elite Westernized classes traditionally regarded the hijab and other signs of overt piety as the province of the lower and middle classes.

That has changed in the past 15 years due to a number of factors, among them a crop of newly wealthy Egyptians who made their fortunes in the Gulf and returned with more stringent interpretations of Islam. The recent rise of populist preacher Amr Khaled drew so much attention partially because his pro-hijab message spread so quickly among Egypt’s elites. He is credited (or blamed) for almost single-handedly sparking a wave of veilings among upper class Egyptian women.

“We want to be like the West and the hijab is regarded as a throwback,” Katatney said.

“The people who go to these places are a certain segment of society. In this segment, the hijab is considered tacky.”

The restrictions extend beyond Cairo’s nightlife. Several upper class beach resorts along the Mediterranean and Red seas ban veiled women from swimming at their private beaches. At a vacation compound in Ain Sukhna, a real estate agent recently showing a villa to this writer boasted the compound’s ban on swimming muhajjabat as a selling point.

The secularist backlash against hijab has even prompted its own counter-backlash. Popular actress Hanan Turk, who veiled several years ago and briefly retired from acting, recently sparked a controversy by opening a combination coffee shop and hair salon that allows veiled women only.



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12 Comments

  1. Marwa on January 18, 2010 8:08 am

    Well I live in Dubai and my sister is veiled and she was visiting me when we went to this outdoor place in the afternoon
    and once we sat down the security came running at us as if we where terrorist and he asked us to leave although there was no sign anywhere in the place announcing sush thing
    So this humiliation is not just in Egypt it seems it’s all over the Arab world

     
  2. HEba on January 18, 2010 10:06 am

    Hi MArwa! I am in Dubai and I am veiled. I am shocked to hear that there is a place that wouldnt allow veils here in dubai in the afternoon and outdoors! ? where is that > I would like to know please.

     
  3. BG on January 18, 2010 10:19 am

    I am sorry but the veil or nikab implies that women who are wearing hijab are less or will not go to Jana as the nikab women. I have worked with nikab women and it is very hard to work with someone who you cannot see their face, the face is the major communication tool, why did Allah create faces for women, to cover it? In addition, Islam as religion and people has bad reputation in the past couple of decades when its Islam reaches the level of stenght it used to have centuries agon maybe we could rethink this habit, whihc optional. The same applies for men who like to dress short, or use miswake in public cleasning their teeth whIch I find disgusting. Muslims are focused on out layers to show they are committed and forgeting to treat people well, not gossip, do zakat, salat, and set an example to others!!

     
  4. bulgarien reisen on January 18, 2010 3:19 pm

    This helped me to make my right vacation decision. I will go to Turkey

     
  5. Khaled on January 18, 2010 5:54 pm

    You should visit some of bars in Aden where the girls serving alcoholic drinks wear niqab!

     
  6. Lee reply to BG on January 19, 2010 9:50 am

    This reply is mainly to BG

    I am an American male convert and your comments are appalling to me as a represenative of this religion If your a Muslim then you must suffer from a mental disorder, because everything you mentioned here is incumbent upon the Muslim or has been recommended in the sunna. get out of the country if you don’t like veiled women how can you become so comfortable in a Muslim Country that feeds and clothes you? go back to your Country that I know without doubt isn’t a prosperous place that’s why you are here . I personally don’t like women who wear very little clothing but such is life and I deal with it and don’t impose my ideaology or ideas on others take this advice.

    Why don’t we get upset when we see a Nun (Christian women) fully covered from head to toe? or the Pope in his robe? and lastly a Rabbi (Jew) with a Beard and long thobe / Robe?

    BG- To each his own if women want to cover it’s their perogative. You are a sucker for this world and your guilty about how unsuccessful you are spiritually as well as wordly. Don’t be a slave to your desires, wake up it’s time we wake up Islam is the truth with proof and this is why we are so angry with the religion.

     
  7. Miss Anne Thropic on January 19, 2010 9:53 am

    There is an element in the upper echelons of Cairo society who view women who wear the veil as being of the servant class. I know someone who is part Egyptian and she was horrified when her brother married a veiled woman. I was confused at the time as her family is Muslim so why would it be an issue if someone married a veiled woman, but it transpired that she felt the woman was of a lower class and concluded that she was clearly only after his money.

     
  8. ID on January 20, 2010 8:08 am

    I am an Egyptian Muslin living in Dubai. It honestly shocks me to know that this happens in Egypt. Despite the fact that I am not veiled, I still highly respect that choice that veiled women make and I consider it a very personal choice. A veiled woman chooses to cover her hair and body. If some people find that an “offensive” or “a not comfortable to look at”, then we should also attack those other women who choose to wear a bikini on the beach since some people find it an “offensive” seen. Personal choices should highly be respected as long as no harm is extended to others.

    On the other hand, I don’t really get the idea of why women are judged based on their dress. Wearing a veil is not actually a proof of conservatism or of a stronger religious belief or commitment !! In Islam, it is one of the obligations women should abide with, just as Salat, Zakat,… and many others. I believe because it is most apparent to people, it has been overstated. People make a big fuss about it and judge women based on it. That is not correct. It is not highly unlikely that unveiled may be more committed that veiled specially that YES it is turning to be some kind of national dress in Egypt rather than actual religious commitment. The proof…. look at how improperly most of the veiled young women are dressed.

     
  9. BG on January 21, 2010 8:22 am

    reply to Mr.Lee:-
    Since you are low in your comments and instead of debating the issue you attack me personally which shows the weak points you made not to mention, your unfounded and fake assumptions on me. Women of all shapes and colors who do not dress properly muslim or not are challenged and also bearded freaks, hippies, or Rabbies. the point is do not be suprized if other attack you if you isolate yourself from them whcih the veil does, and I have lived in Muslim and non Muslim countries and the problem is the same since we are built to communicate by looking at the face. And please spare me the Sunna defender, the Prophet has said he has completed good manners for us whcih many do not follow including you in your last post and you takfiri friends. life is not black or white and some commits sins and wearing a veil all your life aint a blank cheque to jana. If muslims goes to basic and not worry about clothing, then the future will improve.

     
  10. Fwood on January 22, 2010 12:26 pm

    The article is written by ‘Ashraf khalil’ – whose name sounds Arabic. SO he should not the difference between a ‘veil’, ‘niqab’, ‘muhajjaba’, ‘munaqqaba’, ‘Khimaa’ and ‘Hjiaab’

    Hijaab = To conceal, not let anyone see.
    Muhajjaba = A woman who wears a hijaab, i.e. covers her entire body with losely fitted clothing, that does not show the body shape.

    Veil = Niqaab = That which Covers the face.
    Munaqqaba = A woman who wears the hijaab, i.e. loosely fitted clothing…AS WELL as COVERS her face with a veil, hence she is called Munaqqaba.

    Khimaar = A head Scarf.
    Pardon me, if my arabic translation is not precise…my main issue is that the author is using the word veil/niqaab (face covering) to describe a khimaar (head scarf). Is it deliberate?

     
  11. Lee reply to BG on January 22, 2010 8:26 pm

    Lee Reply to the Ghost writer for BG

    YOU DIDN’T WRITE THAT REPLY!! THERE’S A GHOST WRITER OUT THERE WRITING FOR YOU SOMEWHERE. YOUR’E ENGLISH IS HORRIBLE IN YOURE FIRST LETTER AND IT’S FULL OF TYPICAL NON NATIVE SPEAKER ERRORS, NOW THE SECOND LETTER IS NEAR PERFECT? YOUR’E A FAKE LAME PHONEY.

    YOUR’E TESTOMONY AND MINE WILL BEAR WITNESS FOR US OR AGAINST US ON YOMAL KIYAMAH SO BE CAREFUL OF WHAT YOU SAY AS THE PROPHET SAID THE HYPOCRITE (MUNAFIQ) IS THE ONE WHO INSULTS OTHERS DURING A CONFRONTATION, I DIDN’T INSULT YOU A GAVE THE SIDE OF A CONSERVATIVE MUSLIM WHO WAS TRYING TO BE AN ANSAR (aider of the religion).

    LASTLY IT’S NOT PERMISSIBLE TO MAKE TAKFIR ON ANOTHER MIUSLIM AND NONE OF MY COMMENTS WERE OF TAKFIR? A TAKFIRY IS ONE WHO TAKES OTHERS OUT OF THE DEEN OF ISLAM AND SPEAKS BAD ABOUT GOVERMENTS etc… NOTHING I SAID HERE IS FROM TAKFIR LASTLY THE PROPHET SAID THE TAKFIRIES ARE DOGS FOR THE HELLFIRE!!! SO U MAKING TAKFIR ON ME by calling me a takfiry MAKES U A TAKFIRY? DO YOU CONSDER YOURSELF A DOG FOR THE HELLFIRE? because by calling me a takfiry this means im not a muslim as the prophet said these people (the takfirees) arent from us? measure your’e words because what you said here is dangerous and evidence and it’s punishable by law in the UAE IT’S CALLED DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER!!! YOU CAN’T CALL PEOPLE TAKfIREES and it’s clear from your’e free usage of the word you don’t know what takfir is. Lastly I will take this statement to Allah and let him deal with you. Lastly By Allah, wallahi unless you apologize to me I will ask Allah to punish you for the statement which is untrue, because you have opressed me with your’e comment and as we know Allah says in the Quran he will answer the dua’a of the oppressed.

     
  12. DeniseTheMenace on January 23, 2010 11:12 am

    Where’s LEE, since BG has given a befitting reply ???

     

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