Schools across Egypt are forcing girls of every religion to wear the Muslim headscarf and children of both sexes are being punished if they cannot quote the Koran off by heart.
Even Muslim girls who refuse to wear a hijab are being forced out of school in a country where Coptic Christians have previously been able to live free of persecution.
Rahman Salem, 12, was ordered to leave her lesson and banned from taking part in any activities at her school in the Delta, northern Egypt.
Other pupils gave her nasty looks and started leaving the Muslim girl out over the incident.
She said: “I was made to stand all alone in the school courtyard.
“The headmistress later came to me and said: ‘Here in school, you put on the headscarf. Outside, you may do as you wish.’
“No girl can show up with her hair showing. They all have to wear the hijab.
“Christian girls have to wear the hijab. As soon as the end-of-day bell rings, they start taking it off.”
Her mother said: “I was told ‘Stop being an idiot! Don’t you want your daughter to be decent?’.
“I was shocked when other mothers stopped me at the gate. ‘What’s that? How can your daughter show up like this?’
“I re-inspected my daughter’s uniform, and incredulously asked what was wrong. ‘Her head and neck have to be strictly covered!’”
Last month another school in the same province of Sharqia put in force rules to make all female students wear a hijab, with the al-Nassiriya School’s headteacher posting a large sign saying Islam dress is now part of the girls’ uniform.
And Christian seven-year-old Viola Samir told how her Islamic religious studies teacher held eight Christian pupils in her class of 35 children back.
The teacher then beat anyone who had not learnt the Koran off by heart.
Usually, Christian students in Egypt move to a different classroom during religious studies classes where they learn about Christianity while Muslims stay and learn about Islam.
Viola’s father told Christian persecution website, World Watch Monitor: “When my daughter told the teacher that the extra texts were not part of the Arabic curriculum [which all students have to learn], she was severely punished by her teacher.
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SOURCE: The Express UK, Alix Culbertson