Tajikistan Bans Women From Wearing Veil

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Tajikistan has introduced legislation requiring citizens “stick to traditional national clothes and culture” – widely regarded as a move which is an attempt to stop women wearing Islamic clothing.

Women in the Muslim-majority country wear a scarf tied behind the head traditionally as opposed to the hijab, which wraps under the chin.

The country’s minister for culture, Shamsuddin Orumbekzoda, said the dress was “really dangerous” and that “everyone” looked at women wearing hijabs “with concern, worried that they could be hiding something under their hijab.”

The legislation does not specifically mention the hijab, although have authorities have often said the Islamic veil represents an “alien culture”.

“Wearing the hijab and blindly copying a culture that is foreign to us is not a sign of having high moral and ethical standards for women,” said President Emomali Rahmon previously.

Currently in the country, laws state those wearing hijabs are banned from entering government buildings. 8,000 women wearing hijabs were approached in the capital of Dushanbe by officials at the beginning of August, and ordered to wear the scarf in the traditional fashion of the country.

The new legislation does not specify a punishment for breaches but it is thought by some that fines could be introduced at a later date.

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