Rivers of Hope

  • Egyptian riot police stand guard as a policeman unloads ballot boxes from a truck at Mahalla El Kubra, north of Cairo, November 28, 2010. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

    View PhotoReuters/Reuters – Egyptian riot police stand guard as a policeman unloads ballot boxes from a truck at Mahalla El Kubra, north of Cairo, November 28, 2010. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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.

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.

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