Schools across Egypt are forcing girls of every religion to wear the Muslim headscarf and children of both sexes are being punished if they cannot quote the Koran off by heart. Even Muslim girls who refuse to wear a hijab are being forced out of school in a country where Coptic Christians have previously been able to live free of persecution.
Rahman Salem, 12, was ordered to leave her lesson and banned from taking part in any activities at her school in the Delta, northern Egypt. Other pupils gave her nasty looks and started leaving the Muslim girl out over the incident.
She said: “I was made to stand all alone in the school courtyard. “The headmistress later came to me and said: ‘Here in school, you put on the headscarf. Outside, you may do as you wish.’ “No girl can show up with her hair showing. They all have to wear the hijab. “Christian girls have to wear the hijab. As soon as the end-of-day bell rings, they start taking it off.” Read more