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Controversy implodes at Al-Azhar in the wake of PDA incident

Although Al-Azhar’s grand imam reversed a decision to expel a female university student for hugging a male friend, the issue has revived fears over conservative and religious views rampant in Egypt’s universities.
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CAIRO — A decision to expel a female student from Al-Azhar University’s Mansoura branch Jan. 12 has stirred controversy across the country.

The decision was made after the student in question hugged her friend at a birthday party held inside the campus of Mansoura University. With people taking opposing positions, a number of campaigns were launched in defense of the Egyptian student. A handful of hashtags created by activists and artists have managed to garner popularity, including ones that translate into #LoveisnotaCrime and #IstandinSolidaritywithAlAzharStudent.

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