I had reported on this in May, but it takes a bit of extra significance after the Egyptian presidential elections.
Safaa al-Refa’ei, a Qur’an teacher who is in charge of the channel, called “Maria,” refused to disclose the channel’s funding.
Refa’ei stressed that wearing a niqab is one of the main requirements for workers in the channel as well as guests, saying “Niqab is a red line that cannot be bypassed.”
Some current staff members do not wear niqab, but Refa’ei explained that this is only temporary until they can be replaced by niqab-wearing workers.
Refa’ei said that the idea of the channel is not discriminatory at all.
“Sheikh Abu Islam opened this channel to regain the dignity of women in niqab who have been persecuted and were subject to dismissal from work over the past decades,” Refa’ei said. She refused to disclose the identity of the man who she called Abu Islam.
Al-Ahram said that the channel is scheduled to broadcast programming for 6 hours per day, during which there would be interviews with women in niqab. It added that the majority of programs would be on niqab and marital life.
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