Russian Court upholds hijab ban

26th Jul 2013

By Elham Asaad Buaras


Russia’s Supreme Court has upheld a ban on hijabs at schools in Stavropol in the North Caucasian Federal District of Stavropol Krai, on July 10.


Speaking in Moscow after the ruling was announced a spokesman for the region’s Governor, Valery Zerenkov, said: “Taking into account the principles of the Russian Constitution and Russian legislation on the secular nature education, this resolution [to ban Islamic wear] is aimed at ensuring students of educational institutions adhere to the same norms that are expected of business-style clothing.”


Murad Musayev representing four Muslim families said he planned to appeal the decision.


“Our main argument is that no regional government has the right to restrict the constitutional rights of citizens, including freedom of religion. Legally, such restrictions can be introduced only by the federal legislature, and that’s it,” he said.


He added: “We are not discussing whether it is right or wrong to ban head scarves at schools or introduce uniforms. Our arguments are free of ideology but they are concerned only with the law. ”


The Stavropol region borders Russia’s mostly Muslim-populated republics of Chechnya, Daghestan, Kabardino-Balkaria, and Karachaevo-Cherkessia.


Zerenkov introduced a dress code for the region’s schools last autumn. Several families complained that their hijab wearing daughters were barred from their schools.


The dress code prohibited the wearing of any religious clothing or clothes with religious symbols. It also banned casual clothes considered too revealing and shoes with heels higher than 7 centimeters.


Stavropol’s regional court ruled that the introduction of the dress code was legal.



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