Morocco: mediatic war on hijab at university

Ecole Mohammadia trains kingdom's future elite

10 July, 15:58

    L'Ecole Mohammadia d'Ingenieurs L'Ecole Mohammadia d'Ingenieurs

    (by Diego Minuti) (ANSAmed) - ROME - A battle of principles is being fought in Morocco to enable women who wear the hijab -the Islamic veil that leaves the face visible - to attend the Ecole Mohammadia d'ingénieurs.

    The university is the most prestigious technical institute in the country and has raised, since it was founded in 1959, most of the kingdom's elite, not just in the engineering sector.

    It is characterized since 1981 by a military regime for female students who also enroll with apparent enthusiasm.

    Islamic fundamentalist members of Moroccan society have been sponsoring the initiative for the last three years, so far without results. This has led some to slam the practice as a scandal because it discriminates female students based on how they dress. Such a choice can be of a religious or cultural nature but, regardless of the motivations, the heart of the controversy does not change.

    The clash was initially carried out through statements but has now become fodder for the media with initiatives on a daily basis to enable at least the best among the Mohajabates (as girls wearing the hijab are called) to attend courses that traditionally form those that are at the heart of Morocco's economy and administration.

    The key issues at the center of the battle are the hijab as a matter freedom and the right to education with some wondering whether it is right to prevent someone from attending the university because they want to wear a type of garment that is not authorized, perhaps denying the country a future leader.

    It is apparently a battle with little chance of being won because it focuses on alleged discriminations within a school that has adopted military regulations. Indeed graduates automatically become reserves in the armed forces that, as is logic, have even more rigid rules.

    Demonstrations to support this battle have recently taken place but the lack of women demonstrators did not make them a success. Also because the 'hijab affair' quite clearly hides the intention to lift a ban and open the door to fundamentalism within the secular sanctuaries of education. (ANSAmed)

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