This is planting the seeds of a potential social explosion.
It will have serious consequences.
Although quite unusual for Egypt, it is also not surprising to see it regress in this manner.
Since the western-backed autocratic regime of Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi seized power in 2013, the regime has been trying to sell itself to its western masters as a vanguard against so-called “Islamic extremism.”
Today Egypt is a police state, working to achieve total control of its population in all aspects of life.
The fact that hijab-related restrictions are being openly implemented in a society like Egypt, indicates that it is likely an unofficial order from the top.
On September 11, as reported by the UK-based Muslim news website 5pillars, Egypt announced that it is banning niqab in educational institutions.
While the niqab is not mandatory according to most Islamic scholars, if a woman wishes to adopt it to protect herself from the prying eyes of lecherous men, she should have the right to do so.
Further, given Egypt’s present predicament, it would be reasonable to assume that it would have different priorities than clamping down on women wearing the niqab.
Focus on Muslim women’s dress code is being used to deflect attention from the failures of the totalitarian regime in Cairo.
This aspect, however, does not explain the entire picture of recent trends.
Egypt’s drive to undermine the Islamic identity of women is not simply a local matter confined only to domestic issues.
It carries wider implications that are not apparent at first glance.
The Sisi regime is not only a western-backed autocracy, it is also maintained by another western-supported despotic regime, the tribal sheikhdom in the UAE.
It is widely known that for years Abu Dhabi has been backing Islamophobic plots and networks to smear Muslims worldwide.
This campaign is aimed at undermining the legitimate academic, intellectual, and political activities of Muslims in many countries.
Detailed data available about the UAE’s anti-Muslim activities shows that its efforts were well planned and aimed at long-term objectives rather than simply pressuring Muslim activists.
As the world undergoes rapid geopolitical reconfiguration, changes are bound to occur in a crucial country like Egypt as well.
Egypt’s current system is the product of the US-centric global order.
It is difficult to see how this regime will adapt to the new emerging global setup.
For decades the internal political framework drawn by foreign powers established a political dynamic of Islamic forces vs the so-called secularists.
It brought the Egyptian society to the brink of a full-scale civil war.
Sisi’s continuation of trying to win western support by supressing practising Muslims fails to consider that in the new geopolitical environment, this plot will get out of control.
This emerging situation would make the Syrian war look like a minor skirmish.