Egypt veiled women cut off “infidel” Christian’s hair, throw her out of metro

CAIRO: A Christian woman reported that she had her hair cut off by two veiled women inside the Egypt’s capital city Cairo’s metro and thrown out of the car while being called an “infidel.”

Copts United, which reported the incident on its website, said the unnamed woman also suffered a broken arm from being thrown from the car.

The Coptic Christian advocacy group said this was the third such incident on the metro in the past 10 days and nearly at the same location.

Naguib Gebrael, the head of the Egyptian Federation for Human Rights, reportedly called the ministry of interior to “find a way to arrest those veiled women who belong to the Organization of the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice,” an underground movement that is not officially sanctioned or supported by the government.

This is not the first such hair-cutting occurrence in the country over the past few weeks.

Earlier this month, an Egyptian court in southern Egypt handed out a 6-month suspended sentence in a child abuse case that had sparked outrage among liberals and supporters of freedom of religion.

The teacher, Eman Abu Bakr, was convicted of child abuse after she cut off the hair of two schoolgirls who did not wear a traditional higab, or headscarf.

The case came to light last month after rights groups and local officials in Qurna spoke out against the teacher’s actions.

Abu Bakar, an ultra-conservative teacher who wears the full-face covering niqab, was initially transferred to another school as punishment.

But the father of one of the girls and a children’s rights group filed a case against the teacher, which led to her conviction.

The case highlights once again the ongoing battle between Islamic conservatism and freedom of religion. A number of Coptic Christian groups, who make up around 10 percent of Egypt’s 90 million population, have repeatedly told that they fear the rise of the Salafists – ultra-conservative Islamic puritans – and the ongoing repression of Christians in the country.

Abu Bakar reportedly told local papers at the time that she resorted to cutting the girls’ hair only after warning them repeatedly to cover their heads.

The court also fined the teacher $8.

While a vast majority of Egyptian women wear a veil covering their hair, Egyptian law does not require the headscarf.

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