It seems doubtful that the cries of “Islamophobia” will be as shrill against Syria as they have been against Europe. “Syria bans face veils at universities,” by Albert Aji for Associated Press, July 19 (thanks to Choi):
DAMASCUS, Syria – Syria has banned the face-covering Islamic veil from the country’s universities to prevent what it sees as a threat to its secular identity, as similar moves in Europe spark cries of discrimination against Muslims.
The Education Ministry issued the ban Sunday, according to a government official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly.
The ban, which affects public and private universities, is only against the niqab — a full Islamic veil that reveals only a woman’s eyes — not headscarves, which are far more commonly worn by Syrian women.
The billowing black robe known as a niqab is not widespread in Syria, although it has become more common recently — a move that has not gone unnoticed in a country governed by a secular, authoritarian regime.
“We have given directives to all universities to ban niqab-wearing women from registering,” the government official told The Associated Press on Monday.
The niqab “contradicts university ethics,” he added, saying the government was seeking to protect its secular identity….
Opponents say such bans violate freedom of religion and will stigmatize all Muslims.
Duaa, a 19-year-old university student in Damascus, said she hopes to continue wearing her niqab to classes when the next term begins in the fall despite the ban.
Otherwise, she said, she will not be able to study.
“The niqab is a religious obligation,” said Duaa, who asked that her surname not be used because she was not comfortable speaking publicly on the issue. “I cannot go without it.”