Christian children in Egypt have to attend Muslim schools to receive their education. Until recently this system operated without any difficulty but since of late it has become a major problem for them. The new rule is that if the Christian students are to continue their studies in these schools they have to adhere to the rules and regulations of the Muslim faith. It has become compulsory for all students whether Muslim or not to wear the Hijab to school.
If they do not adhere to this rule they have been threatened with punishment according to what is stated in the Quran. However in the past even the Muslim students were not seen to be wearing the Hijab to school and they have been warned that there will be severe punishment for Muslim students who do not wear the Hijab to school.
12 year old Saleema is a Christian and she has had to stop going to school for this reason. Saleema says that because she is a Christian she has been deprived of the right to receive an education. Because she did not wear the Hijab she was not allowed to participate in any school activities and had to stand in a corner the whole day. Her teacher has told her that if she wants to continue to receive her education in this school she will have to wear the Hijab and that she cannot avoid it because she is a Christian. Saleema’s mother has objected to this new rule and says that she cannot agree with the present spate of harassment of Christians in Egypt on a scale that has not been experienced before. Christian parents have often complained that their children are forced to learn Islam during the Religion period and severe punishment is meted out to those who oppose this move. The parents are of the view that the authorities are