Now she says that the Torah itself forbids women from showing their faces.
She is referring to Genesis 38 which actually says the opposite, mentioning that at the time prostitutes were known to cover their faces, which proves that normal women of course didn't.
Amna Nosseir said on Sunday that the proposed ban would be in the best interest of Egyptian society and that she has been battling against the burqa over the past 40 years.
Nosseir, who wears the hijab, said on Wednesday that the burqa - known in Arabic as the niqab - had its origins in Jewish religious law.
"In the Old Testament, you find in chapter 38 that the Jewish religious authorities tell you that if Jewish women leave the house without covering the face and head then they are breaking Jewish religious law," the lawmaker said during an interview with local media.
"I have gathered around 20 texts by Jewish religious authorities that completely forbid women from showing their faces and heads," Nosseir said while discussing also banning female university students from wearing "ripped jeans" in lectures.
She added that this part of Jewish law became entrenched in pre-Islamic Arab tribes of the Arabian Peninsula and then spread throughout the Middle East with the Muslim conquests.
The only place that Jewish women ever covered their faces were when they lived in Arab countries, as a mishna in Shabbat chapter 6 says. Rashi there comments that "it is the custom of Arab women to cover their heads and faces except for their eyes" saying the garments were called the Reulot in Arabic (a variant of that word is still used in Hebrew today to mean "veil.") Jewish women in Arab countries followed the local custom, probably more out of fear than anything else.
It is fascinating that Egyptian "scholars" who want to fight against the burqa feel that they must associate it with Judaism in order to make the naturally antisemitic Arabs turn against it.
(h/t Bill P)