27 september 2020

Central Asia news

Court does not permit a Moslem girl to wear hijab to the college

13.07.2007 13:05 msk

Media outlets

Religious life Tajikistan

BBC reported the lawsuit filed by Davlatimo Ismailova against the Tajik Ministry of Education and her college administration dismissed. Administration of the Foreign Languages College in Dushanbe does not permit Ismailova to wear hijab, the traditional Moslem scarf.

The plaintiff told judges that the ban on hijabs encroaches on her freedom to worship.

"The case is dismissed because the plaintiff failed to present any evidence," Reuters quoted Judge Abdullo Rahmatov as saying. "The Ministry of Education bases its instructions on the accepted educational norms and standards."

"I was expecting it. All the same, I'm not through with them yet. I will complain to the municipal court first and to the Supreme Court after that. If it comes to that, I'll appeal to international courts," Ismailova told BBC.

In the meantime, Ismailova's case was the only one to reach the courtroom. Her lawyer Shuhrat Kudratov claims that the legislation was violated more than once. As for the decision of the Ministry of Education the judge refers to, it bans the wearing of hijab at state, secular, and educational establishments.

"This decision is illegitimate because it collides with the constitution which allows citizens of Tajikistan to wear whatever takes their fancy," Kudratov said.

Minister of Education Abdujabbor Rahmonov never doubted the verdict would be favorable. He views hijab wearers as promoters of religious ideas.

Ismailova in the meantime is told to stay away from the college as long as she wears hijab.

The Islamic Revival Party, the only religious organization officially permitted in Central Asia, condemned the Tajik minister and proclaimed the verdict unlawful.

BBC reports that the faithful in Tajikistan face a choice between hijab or college education with no other option available.

Central Asian authorities regularly persecute the faithful whose religious practices collide with official canons. They invariably ascribe it to the war on religious extremism. Human rights activists believe that the regimes use the alleged threat as an excuse allowing them to crush dissention, Reuters concluded.