Muslim head scarves still pose an unresolved problem for Russia


RIA Novosti, 31 March 2017


The parliament of Chechnya adopted a bill on the wearing of hijabs in the schools in response to the lack of a resolution of this question in legislation at the federal level, the head of the Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia, Mufti Albir Krganov, told RIA Novosti on Friday.


Earlier the parliament of Chechnya introduced an additional article in a draft law on education in the republic, giving pupils of schools the right to wear clothing or symbols in accordance with their traditions and religions. The prohibition on wearing religious clothing and head covering, including hijabs, in schools was earlier recognized by the Supreme Court of Russia to be legal.


"The necessity of finally resolving this question has matured. . . . I think that the bill of the Chechen parliament is a response to the absence of a resolution of this problem on the federal level. We need a maximally cohesive society and we should do the work here," Krganov said.


He urged the expert community; lawmakers; and representatives of the regions, the Caucasus, and traditional religions to gather in Moscow and discuss this topic.


"By our joint efforts we should put an end to this question. As a member of the Public Chamber of the RF, I would also be able to be an assistant in this work," the news agency's interlocutor noted.


Krganov added that the federal structure of the state assumes that the regions have the right to take legislative initiatives.


"As a believing person, I am able to say that for Muslims the Holy Quran is fundamental law. It prescribes that our women cover their heads. We cannot change this rule. For Muslims this is very important. A believing person who lives in the RF should not have an internal contradiction between the civilian person and the believing person," the mufti emphasized.


Earlier the press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, declared that the Kremlin does not have a united position on the question of wearing hijabs in Russian schools. It is necessary to understand whether to resolve this question at the federal level or to leave this to the regions. (tr. by PDS, posted 31 March 2017)

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