Cairo (AsiaNews) - From the continuing attacks against Christians, to the proposed ban on alcohol and belly dancing, Egypt is increasingly being transformed into an Islamic state. The signs of this change are not only within the Constitution, based on sharia, but the imposition of customs until now the preserve of a minority of society. In recent days, a decision of an Administrative Court of Cairo has made headlines. The court is allowing police officers to wear beards the "Islamic way" after a thirty years ban. In February, dozens of police officers were suspended for violating the law. They protested for days in front of the headquarters of the Ministry of the Interior arousing the sympathy of several Salafi imams and police officers who lobbied on the Court to remove the ban. Dating back to the regime of Hosni Mubarak, the law was introduced to prevent the entry in the police force of elements of radical Islamism who would not be impartial in administering the law. Anyone who sported an Islamic beard was suspended.
According to the moderate newspaper Al Ahram, the Court's verdict marks an important page in the Egyptian society and confirms the silent Islamization of institutions and has sparked new protests by Christians and the secular opposition, which for months has been denouncing this trend.
However this ruling is not the only sign of this trend taking hold. Radical Islamists begin to emerge even in the army after decades of keeping a low profile. In recent days, the Baladna Bel Masry talk showed a video of a military tank painted with the words: "Not God but Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah." The video was shown across the country and today Ahmed Mohammed Ali, spokesman of the Higher Council of the Armed Forces announced legal action against those responsible. "One vehicle - however, he stressed - does not mean that the phenomenon concerns the entire army."
Attempts to Islamize Egyptian society also affect education. In recent days Mogheth Kamal, an expert on education, denounced a Muslim Brotherhood plan to impose lessons of Islam and the Koran in schools, even private ones. The Islamist movement reportedly has the support of many institutions, including foreign ones. (S.C.)