- Middle East/North Africa
An Egyptian policeman has been suspended for allowing his beard to grow in violation of regulations, a security official said on Monday.
Mohamed al-Sayyed will also face questioning over his beard, the sign of a religious Muslim. Islamists have come to the fore in Egypt since veteran President Hosni Mubarak, who suppressed Islamism, was toppled last February.
The security source said Sayyed was not the first police officer to face disciplinary action for growing a beard.
Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim warned on Monday during a visit to Upper Egypt that policemen who insisted on letting their beards grow would be suspended and may also be subject to further disciplinary action.
Islamism has been on the rise in already conservative Egypt in recent years. The new parliament is dominated by Islamists with nearly 75 percent of the seats — a quarter of them adherents of the strict Salafi strain of Islam.