Hundreds of people rallied outside the Abdeen Palace in the Egyptian capital Cairo on March 1 – demanding that President Mohamed Mursi reinstates several policemen suspended for growing beards. Although an Egyptian court ruled in their favour, they have not been allowed to return to work.
The protesting policemen say they are being discriminated against because they are Muslims.
One told euronews: “Nothing in the law or the constitution prevents our right to have beards. We’ve pursued all legal avenues to get this right, and finally the Supreme Court’s decided that we can return to our work – so we ask the president to issue an order to send us back to our work and end this crisis!”
The number of beards has risen since Mursi, who is backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, came to power in 2012.
Our correspondent in Cairo Mohammed Shaikhibrahim says the beard is a political issue in post-revolution Egypt: “Allowing or not allowing these officers to grow beards might seem at first to be a question of appearance. But it is in fact a struggle between two political approaches trying to impose their will.”