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Hosts win right to wear Muslim garb

World Brief

LONDON — Three female TV presenters have won a landmark ruling allowing them to wear Muslim headscarves while on air after they were dropped by Egyptian pubcaster Channel 5.

On July 5 a court in Alexandria found in favor of the plaintiffs, Hala Malki, Ghada Al-Tawil and Rania Radwan, ruling that the ban on headscarves violated their constitutional rights.

The three women filed the lawsuit in July 2004 and claimed former information minister Safwat Al Sherif was behind the ban, which was never made official.

Each woman hosted two shows on Channel 5, the local channel for Alexandria.

Wearing headscarves is a contentious issue in the country, where an increasing minority of women have adopted the Islamic garment.

Egyptian Education Minister Dr. Hussein Kamel Bahaa Eddine recently called for a probe into “the growth in the wearing of headscarves by Muslim students.”

The presenters’ success does not guarantee they will return to the air. Government officials may appeal the court finding.

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