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Tajikistan Bans Hijab To Promote Secular Identity Among Citizens

Tajikistan Bans Hijab To Promote Secular Identity Among Citizens

Tajikistan’s parliament has passed a law bans hijabs, traditional head coverings worn by women, as part of a push towards a secular identity. The President of the Central Asian nation has long advocated for restrictions on Islamic dress despite facing criticism. The upper chamber of parliament approved the bill, labeling hijabs as foreign attire associated with Islamic fundamentalists.

Penalties for violating the ban range from 7,920 somonis for individuals to 39,500 somonis for legal entities. Government officials and religious leaders face higher fines for non-compliance.

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The crackdown on hijabs in Tajikistan began about twenty years ago when the Ministry of Education banned Islamic attire and Western-style miniskirts for students. The ban later extended to all public institutions, with some requiring staff and visitors to remove headscarves.

Previous administrations formed special task forces to enforce the ban, and police conducted raids on markets to apprehend violators.

In response, Tajikistan’s largest Muslim civil rights organization criticized the ban, condemning it as discriminatory against Muslims.