Egypt's Al-Azhar university said Thursday it would ban the niqab or face veil from female classrooms and dormitories, according to AFP.
"The Supreme Council of Al-Azhar has decided to ban students and teachers from wearing the niqab inside female-only classrooms, that are taught by women only," a statement from the university said.
The supreme council's statement added that Al-Azhar does not oppose the niqab, which it said only a minority of Muslim scholars consider an obligation, but it opposes "imprinting it on the minds of girls."
The decision came after female students who wear the niqab were banned from the women's dormitory of the state-run Cairo University.
The niqab is associated with Salifism, an ultra-orthodox sect mostly practiced in Saudi Arabia. AFP reports that a Salafi group from the Palestinian territories called on Egyptians to "strike with an iron hand all the agents and traitors" responsible for the ban.
Watch this Al Jazeera English video on the controversy surrounding banning the niqab.