Egypt univer­sity ex­pels fe­male stu­dent for hug­ging male friend

The Borneo Post - - WORLD -

CAIRO: Egypt’s Al-Azhar univer­sity yes­ter­day said it had ex­pelled a fe­male stu­dent after she ap­peared in a video hug­ging a male col­league, ac­cus­ing her of un­der­min­ing the school’s rep­u­ta­tion.

The video, which went vi­ral ear­lier this month, showed a young man car­ry­ing a bou­quet of flow­ers kneel­ing be­fore a young woman and then hug­ging her in what ap­peared to be a mar­riage pro­posal.

The video was ap­par­ently not filmed at Al-Azhar – a branch of Egypt’s high­est Sunni Mus­lim au­thor­ity – but at an­other es­tab­lish­ment, Man­soura Univer­sity in the coun­try’s north.

Nev­er­the­less the dis­ci­plinary coun­cil of the Al-Azhar Univer­sity cam­pus in Man­soura on Satur­day “de­cided to ex­pel the young girl defini­tively”, univer­sity spokesman Ahmed Zarie told AFP.

He said the video had caused a “pub­lic out­cry” and that the univer­sity’s de­ci­sion to ex­pel her was be­cause she had pre­sented a “bad im­age” of Al-Azhar Univer­sity, which strictly seg­re­gates the gen­ders.

He said hug­ging be­tween un­mar­ried men and women vi­o­lates “the val­ues and prin­ci­ples of so­ci­ety”.

The woman, how­ever, can ap­peal the ex­pul­sion de­ci­sion, Zarie said.

The young man who ap­peared in the video could also face sanc­tions, a spokesman for Man­soura Univer­sity said, adding that the school’s dis­ci­plinary coun­cil will meet on Mon­day to de­cide his “pun­ish­ment”.

Egypt, a pre­dom­i­nantly Mus­lim coun­try, is a largely con­ser­va­tive so­ci­ety.

Last year, pros­e­cu­tors de­tained a fe­male singer for four days for “in­cite­ment to de­bauch­ery” after an on­line video clip which in­cluded sen­sual ori­en­tal dances and sug­ges­tive ges­tures went vi­ral.

And in 2017 an­other fe­male pop singer was sen­tenced to two years in prison on sim­i­lar charges, also over a video deemed provoca­tive. Her sen­tence was re­duced to a year on ap­peal.

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