CAIRO (Reuters) – Rokaya Mohamed, an elementary school teacher, would rather die than take off her face veil, or niqab, thrusting her to the forefront of a battle by government-backed clerics to limit in .
Egypt's state-run religious establishment wants teachers like Mohamed to remove their veils in front of female students, sparking a backlash by Islamists who say women should be able to choose to cover their faces in line with their Islamic faith.
"I have put on the niqab because it is a Sunna (a tradition of the Muslim prophet Muhammad). It is something that brings me closer to religion and closer to the who used to wear it," she said.
"I know what makes God and his prophet love me, and no sheikh is going to convince me otherwise. I would rather die than take it off, even inside class," she added.