Cholera threat assessed in local press; judges hold first meeting after passing of new law
Taking the spotlight in this week’s news is a debate over the niqab initiated by Jack Straw, the British minister of foreign affairs, who criticized wearing the garment. The niqab is the full veil, which covers the face, leaving only the eyes visible.
We only care about trivial matters, the independent Al-Masry Al-Youm quoted Dr. Mahmoud Hamdy Zaqzouq, the minister of religious endowments.
The paper reported that Zaqzouq defended Straw s comments on niqab, insisting that niqab isn t a part of Sharia, and that it is simply a tradition.
Zaqzouq said in a speech that some Muslims project a bad impression about Islam and display a distorted image of it.
Al-Masry Al-Youm also focused on the spread of cholera, a disease which has infected 150 people in the northern governorate of Daqahleya , according to the paper.
Dr. Gad El-Mouly Abdel Aziz, physiology professor in the faculty of medicine at El-Mansoura University told Al-Masry Al-Youm that polluted drinking water could cause cholera and typhoid. Dr. Abdel Aziz added that drinking water sources in Daqahleya contains chemical pollutants. The pollutants, he says, are a result of factory wastes, fertilizers and insecticides.
This view was shared by Dr. Abdel Kareem Ali El-Sayed, health minister, who said that drinking water is the primary reason behind the spread of cholera, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.
In reaction, Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif held a meeting with a number of ministers and governors to discuss the problem of water contamination in a number of towns in the Delta area, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.
He was informed that a number of towns in the delta area have been exposed to poisoning, much akin to the Daqahleya crisis. The reason, the report said, was the mixing of drinking water and sewage in those areas, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.
Furthermore, the report stated the contamination may have spread beyond the delta area into cities and towns in Upper Egypt.
In reaction to the poisoning cases, the public prosecution decided to investigate water contamination in Daqahleya.
As for Cairo, the president of the Cairo Company for Drinking Water, Mohammed Abdel Zaher, requested that municipal council officials and district heads remove underground water pipes for fear of spreading cholera in the capital.
Also this week, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported that 37 muftis and Islamic scholars, including Mufti Ali Gomaa, have signed a letter to the pope stating that they have accepted his apology for his remarks about Islam, which were considered insulting to Islam and resulted in angry demonstrations around the Muslim world.
In other news, the Judges Club is holding a general assembly on November 17, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported. This general assembly will be the first large gathering of judges after the passing of the Judicial Authority Law, which the club struggled and fought against, demanding more autonomy for the judiciary.