Algeria bans public sector workers from wearing niqab

30th Nov 2018
Algeria bans public sector workers from wearing niqab

PM Ahmed Ouyahia (Photo: Magharebia/Flickr Creative Commons)

Nadine Osman

Algerian authorities have banned female public sector employees from wearing the niqabs at work. Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia announced the decision in a letter to ministers and regional governors in the Muslim-majority country on October 19.

Civil servants, he wrote, needed to “observe the rules and requirements of security and communication within their department, which impose their systematic and permanent physical identification”.

The ban has been met with both positive and negative reactions with some hailing it as progressive while others called it an attempt to control women and what they wear.

The ban was blasted by some MPs as a “declared war on Islam”.

However, another MP Adda Fellahi declared his support for the new law, saying the niqab is “a social and jurisprudence issue and has nothing to do with decency and chastity.”

The ban falls in line with Denmark, France, Belgium and Latvia, preventing women from wearing a niqab in public.

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