Russia: Half of Russians oppose school headscarf ban

1st Feb 2017
Russia: Half of Russians oppose school headscarf ban

By Elena Teslova

 

MOSCOW (AA): Half of Russians are in favor of lifting a headscarf ban in schools, according to a poll released Tuesday.

The Russian Public Opinion Research Center survey found one in two supported lifting the ban while 37 percent believed it was “impossible” to do.

Elena Mikhailova, director of special programs at the center, said a low level of awareness of other ethnic and religious groups was a key factor underlying social distrust in Russia.

In recent years there had been an increase in acceptance of other religious groups, Mikhailova said according to the TASS news agency. She said elements such as the hijab had become “more understandable and familiar”, particularly among young people who paid less attention to appearance.

The poll was conducted on Jan. 28 and 29 and questioned 1,800 people in 48 provinces.

In 2015, the Supreme Court upheld a ban on pupils wearing the hijab in schools after the Muslim Tatar community in Mordovia — a republic 560 kilometers (350 miles) southeast of Moscow — appealed a ban imposed a year earlier.

[Archive Photo: Moscow Central Mosque opening on 23 September 2015. Photographer: Sefa Karacan/AA]

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