CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian court ruled on Wednesday that policemen may grow beards, ending a decades-old convention barring them from making what is often seen here as a display of Islamic piety.And why? Because sharia says they can. Now they'll look like a bunch of creepy fanatics who could grow their beards to make themselves look even scarier.
Dozens of police officers were suspended from work in February for breaking the de facto ban on beards introduced under deposed President Hosni Mubarak. They had protested outside the Interior Ministry, calling on Islamist President Mohamed Mursi - who is bearded himself - to secure their reinstatement.
Cairo's High Administrative Court rejected a request by the Interior Ministry to let it suspend officers who defied the unwritten rule. "The court ruled ... that police officers have the right to grow beards," judge Maher Abu el-Enin said.
This being an al-Reuters article, the presentation is predictably superficial, and sugarcoats proceedings by saying:
Mubarak used the police to crush Islamist groups he saw as enemies of the state. During his rule, sporting any kind of beard precluded Egyptians from holding senior government posts.This is ambiguous, because Mubarak was an Islamist himself.
Men across Egyptian society wear beards, including many leftists, but the pressure for ending the police ban came from religious officers who wish to emulate the Prophet Mohammad.Oh, I don't doubt that. Soon enough, they'll be going to jihad for the sake of their "prophet" too.