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Tunisian university decides to ban full-face Islamic veil

(Xinhua)

11:22, November 30, 2011

TUNIS, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Following the storming by Islamic fundamentalists on Monday of a university faculty near Tunis, Tunisia's ministry of higher education issued a statement on Tuesday saying it "condemns" the wearing of the niqab (full-face Islamic veil) within classrooms in all university premises, Tunisian TV reported on Tuesday.

The move came after a meeting of University of Manouba's board of letters, arts and humanities faculty on Tuesday refused one of the two demands by a group of Salafists, who were asking for the acceptance of the niqab and the setting up of prayers' room within the institution.

The dean of the faculty told the media on Tuesday that the faculty board meeting had accepted the request of setting up a prayers' room within the institution, saying the request were submitted to the ministry of higher education.

However, the meeting refused to accept the wearing of niqab within classrooms. The dean justified the decision to ban full- face Islamic veil on "pedagogical" and "security" reasons.

On Monday morning, some 100 Salafists stormed the campus disrupting classes and sequestrating the dean. They later released him, but decided to spend the night in the faculty's administrative premises until their demands were met. Latest reports indicate they were still camping inside the faculty on Tuesday night, as police vans were reported to be parked outside the university grounds.

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