Update: I am not defending Sh. Tantawi. All I am saying that it serves not purpose to hate on him, calling him various derogatory names. It won’t help to remove the ban on the niqab from the universities. We have to make dua and protest against the universities and government of Egypt to remove the ban inshaAllah.
Once I get this translated, you will see why.
Translation of this article:
Shaykh Tantanwi said he respects the niqab and that there’s no harm for niqaabis to come to his office in order to end this issue. He also confirmed that the niqab is a custom and not from worship (عبادة) and at the same time he stated he has no objection to it.
He denied what was published in some newspapers which quoted him saying to a pupil in an azhari school “if you were even a little beautiful you wouldn’t be wearing this”. He also denied saying that he knows the religion better than you and your family to the pupil.
He also made clear in a special statement, which he stated on the Egyptian program “The House is Your House” (a very famous talk show in Egyptian fyi) When I went to inspect one of the azhari schools (“Ahmad Libi” <- name of the school where the incident occurred, located in Nasr city behind the international park) at the beginning of the new school year, I entered the school accompanied by members of the school board (of that school) and came across approximately 15 students (all girls). One of the girls was wearing the niqab, so I said to her raise your niqab. Not only did she not responsed but she just stood there stunned. So then I requested the teacher to remove the niqab in order so that I can talk to her. The niqab was then removed by force. He then said to her, why do you wear the niqab when you’re with other female students? Then he stated there is no need for the niqab in this case. He also added there’s no stopping a female student from wearing the niqab while attending the morning assembly, but when she enters the classroom she must take the niqab off. Side note from translator: The third paragraph I changed a few pronouns from the original text fyi just so that the text would flow better< Just in case an Arab reads this translation mention this..