Press Release: In Yet Another Province in Russia, the Khimar (Headscarf) is Banned in Schools

In Yet Another Province in Russia, the Khimar (Headscarf) is Banned in Schools

On 11/2/2015 CE the Russian Federal Supreme Court approved the ban on wearing headscarves (Khimar) in schools; thus it would have upheld the decision of the District Court of the Republic of Mordovia, which  banned in May 2014 “wearing of headscarves or any religious manifestations in schools.” The court did not take into account the argument of the lawyers that the government has no right to such a decision, because they limit the constitutional rights of citizens, including freedom of religion and education.

The matter reached the Supreme Court, after the Muslims were faced by a difficult choice; either to succumb to the demands of the officials and remove their daughters’ khimars and disobey Allah or give up education and preserve their religion, honor and dignity.  Muslim girls and their parents have chosen to satisfy the Lord ‘Azza wa Jal, and began the battle for the right to wear the Khimar in schools, but they were faced with unbearable pressure from teachers, school administrators and local officials.

Muslims have insisted that the decision to ban wearing the Khimar in schools in Mordovia was a self-initiative of the local authorities, which contradicts the Constitution; especially since the well-known journalist and human rights activist Maxim Shevtchenko answered their question about the legality of the ban of the Khimar in schools, saying: “This is an oppressive and shameless action by them,  by this they do violate the Constitution and the law of personal freedom, not you. That is why I ask you to document these violations to be sent to the Human Rights Council of the Office of the Russian President, I promise that any constitutional violations of rights of any Russian citizen or any person residing legally on the territory of the Russian Federation, we will take it to the Office of the Russian President …, this is stupidity and confusion by the lower class of those in power. It is not but madness.  On the federal level they are well aware that banning the head scarf drives people into the arms of terrorists who direct them against the state … “

This is why the Muslim parents were hoping that the Russian Federal Supreme Court will serve justice to them. But for those who have followed the case since the beginning, this court’s decision was expected, as from origin it did not follow a legal angle, but was the result of a political decision.

The Federal Government politicized the issue when it attempted to ban the students from wearing of the Khimar in the schools of Stavropol in 2012 CE, which was met  then with anger from the Muslims as well as the Minister of Education, Livanov, who had a rational and calm approach to, who said: “I do not see any reason why the students cannot wear the Khimar in schools”. However, the Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized later Minister Livanov’s position during a news conference when he was asked about the subject and said, “We live in a secular state, and have come for this (objective)” ….The court then approved the law to ban Muslim girls from wearing the Khimar in all schools in Stavropol County.

Then based on the “precedent” of Stavropol, there was an attempt to impose a ban on wearing the khimar in all schools of the state, but it failed because Muslims protested, as well as the obvious contradiction to Russian legislations and laws. Later, the head of the new government during a regular press conference in 2013 redefined frankly the issue when asked by some residents of Manitogorsk: “Vladimir, Vladimirvic, school girls wearing the Khimar; Is this Islamization of the state?” His response this time was more determined and clear when he said, “There is nothing good about the subject, there are, of course, national privacy for some republics, but it is – the khimar- not a national trait, it is an appearance of a famous religion, but in our country, there has never been such a tradition existing in Muslim areas.”

Then there were attempts to reduce the “Islamization” of some Soviet regions, according to the authorities so it will not lead to the destabilization of society. One of those targeted regions is Mordovia which lies on the border of the Republic of Tatarstan, Muslims were the indigenous population in origin, but they are now a minority, however, the residents of the village of Bilozayri showed strong commitment to their Deen, all attempts to remove the Khimar from their daughters failed, and that eventually led the Russia’s Federal Supreme Court to look into the decision of the Government of Mordovia.

Thus, the final judgment on the decision to ban the Khimar by the courts took place, after it was implemented by local authorities in the form of government regulations since 2012 CE. The reason for such a policy by the authorities is the fear of Islam and panic that it will spread. Therefore, the one who preserve the chastity and honor of his daughters is not a criminal, but the criminal is one who deliberately prevents Muslims from adhering to their Deen, and practices in public anti-Islam policies.

From this it follows that the Supreme Court’s decision is a further confirmation of the fact that the decision of Khimar ban in schools was not randomly taken by the local government, but it is an expression of the regime’s direction against Islam and twenty million Muslims in Russia.

Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir
in Russia