The Ministry of Education of Tajikistan has issued a special instruction regulating the uniform for schoolgirls and female students. From now on, they are strictly forbidden to appear in schools in mini-skirts and Muslim headscarves - hijabs. You can not wear jewelry, except for a pair of national earrings.
Various forms of administrative pressure will be applied to violators, including exclusion from the educational institution. This is reported by ITAR-TASS, referring to the spokesman for the Ministry of Education Noilsho Nuraliyev.
According to the leadership of the Ministry of Education, henceforth girls should wear uniform school uniform. Girls can choose to wear either a national dress with national tricks or a European suit in a white top and a dark bottom. As for the hijab (traditional clothes of Muslims), then, as explained in the ministry, the wearing of religious attributes in secular educational institutions is contrary to the Constitution of the country.
Abdujabbor Rakhmon, the Minister of Education of Tajikistan, raised the issue of banning girls from wearing hijabs to general education institutions in the fall of 2005. Then he compared the wearing of the hijab with "one of the ways of spreading ideology." “Propaganda in public educational institutions is unacceptable. For those who want to wear headscarves, there are madrasas and Islamic schools, ”said the minister. The head of the Ministry of Education and then warned that henceforth students wearing Islamic clothing, and thus, "violating the law, will be expelled from educational institutions."
In the same period, or more precisely at a press conference, the country's Minister of Education expressed his concern that adolescents began to attend mosques more often. According to the minister, this is particularly felt during the holy month of Ramadan, when on Fridays, starting “from the third grade and fifth year of high schools, students and schoolchildren from 6 pm to 10 am are in mosques at prayer. On Fridays, many schoolchildren and students do not go to school at all, spending the whole day at the mosque at the Friday prayers. ” Immediately thereafter, at a meeting of the Council of Ulema of Tajikistan, the issue of adolescents visiting mosques was discussed, where it was decided to recommend imam-khatibs of all mosques from now on without the written consent of their parents not to allow adolescents and children under 16 to enter mosques. Then the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) made an official statement in which it condemned the actions of the Tajik authorities to infringe upon the rights of believers of this country. According to Muhiddin Kabiri, deputy chairman of the IRPT and a member of the lower chamber of the Tajik parliament, prohibiting girls from attending general education in the hijab is a violation of both Tajik legislation and all other international legal acts and other documents that Tajikistan has ratified. With regard to the decision of the Council of Ulema banning adolescents under 16 years of age to attend the mosque, Kabiri believes that there is already a bend.
After the Minister’s statement on the prohibition of girls wearing the hijab in general education institutions in many schools, as reported by the Tajik media, there were cases when girls were forced to take off the hijab, and in the case when the girls refused, they were excluded.
According to the Ministry of Education, according to Art. 3 of the Law of Tajikistan on education, in all secondary, higher and vocational schools prohibited the promotion of party and religious ideology. But, as is known, Islam considers wearing the hijab not as a way of propaganda and expression of ideology, but as the duty of every Muslim woman.
Tajikistan has declared itself a secular and democratic state, and one of the principles of democracy is the free choice of religion and clothing. A man has the right to wear the clothes he likes, and what's wrong with that if a girl or woman covers her head with a handkerchief. Representatives of the authorities quite often remind that wearing hijabs in general education institutions is prohibited not only in Tajikistan, but also in some other European states, such as France and Belgium. But in the case of Tajikistan, we must not forget that 98 percent of the population of this country is Muslim. And no matter how secular and Europeanized state we build, traditions and customs, one way or another, will prevail.
According to some experts, the prohibition of girls from attending general education institutions in the hijab is a violation of both Tajik legislation and all other international legal acts and other documents that Tajikistan has ratified. In addition, in Tajikistan there is no law that would prohibit wearing the hijab. According to these documents, parents have the right to choose an educational institution or a type of upbringing, including a religious one.
Leadership of the Ministry of Education states that girls in hijabs should be trained in specialized Islamic institutions, but what to do if a schoolgirl or student wants to get a secular education, and at the same time she cannot refuse the hijab, for which it is equivalent to giving up her principles and beliefs?
Some Muslim women in Tajikistan believe that in recent years there have been certain violations of rights in relation to women believers in the country. As an example, they cited the following fact. In the summer of 2004, the Islamic Council of Tajikistan, the highest religious body of Muslims in the country, banned Muslim women from participating in Friday worship services. This action was justified by the fact that the presence of women is bad for praying men who are distracted and feel discomfort at the sight of women. This prohibition will be in effect until the necessary conditions for prayers are created for women.
It should also be recalled that one of the latest initiatives of the leadership of the Ministry of Education in schools of Tajikistan is no longer allowed to celebrate the “Last Call” and “Holiday of the Primer”. In addition, school children are not allowed to attend schools with mobile phones and private cars. The relevant Order “On the prohibition of celebrations and solemn events of the last bell in all types of general education schools of the Republic of Tajikistan” was signed by the Minister of Education Abdujabor Rakhmonov on March 24 of this year. The leadership of the Ministry of Education explains the adoption of this decision by the fact that all these activities entail the usual collection of money in large amounts and mass celebrations, which not infrequently end in tragedy.
Meanwhile, all experts believe that there are many other, more important, problems in the education system of Tajikistan. This is a low salary for teachers, a shortage of schools and textbooks, a low level of teaching staff, a lack of lighting and heat in the winter period, and also the involvement of schoolchildren in child labor, in particular, in the collection of cotton in the fields. It is these problems that the Ministry of Education of the country should solve first of all, and not be distracted by secondary issues. On the other hand, it is clear that the Tajik authorities are afraid of radical Islamization in the country, but, nevertheless, such sensitive issues should not be solved by repressive and categorical methods. Experts believe that such an uncompromising decision of the authorities to ban girls from wearing general education institutions of hijab and women's participation in Friday services can be regarded in Tajik society as pressure on religion and cause a negative reaction and lead to reactionary sentiments.
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