Muslim country Tajikistan has banned the hijab

Tajikistan has banned the hijab

Tajikistan has banned the hijab

Tajikistan, a Central Asian nation with a predominantly Muslim population exceeding 98%, has recently implemented a controversial law banning the hijab and other "alien garments." This move, sanctioned by the country's parliament and endorsed by President Emomali Rahmon, marks a significant step in the government's efforts to curb what it perceives as the influence of Islamic attire and practices.

Legislative Background

The bill, passed by Tajikistan's upper house of parliament, Majlisi Milli, on June 19, introduces stringent penalties for individuals and organizations violating the ban. Individuals wearing prohibited religious clothing, including the hijab, face fines up to 7,920 somonis (approximately $700). Companies found allowing their employees to wear such garments risk even higher penalties, up to 39,500 somonis ($3,500). Government officials and religious leaders could face fines ranging from 54,000 to 57,600 somonis ($4,800-$5,100) for non-compliance.

Cultural and Security Justifications

President Rahmon and government officials have justified the ban as necessary to safeguard Tajikistan's cultural identity and combat perceived extremist influences associated with imported Islamic attire. The government has promoted traditional Tajik national dress as an alternative to what it terms "foreign clothing." Additionally, measures restricting children's participation in Islamic holiday traditions, such as Eid celebrations, aim to ensure "proper education and safety" during these periods.

Historical Context and Enforcement

Tajikistan has a history of regulating Islamic clothing, beginning with the 2007 ban on hijabs in schools, later extending to all public institutions. Reports indicate that enforcement has included forcible shaving of beards among men, further illustrating the state's assertive stance against religious symbols deemed contrary to national interests.

International Response and Human Rights Concerns

Human rights organization have condemned Tajikistan's Hijab ban as a violation of religious freedom.
Critics argue that such legislation targets religious minorities and restricts individual rights to religious expression, contrary to international human rights norms. Given Tajikistan's overwhelmingly Muslim population, this law is expected to face considerable opposition within the country, potentially fueling domestic tensions.

Tajikistan's recent legislation banning the hijab and other religious garments underscores the government's efforts to assert control over religious expression and preserve its cultural identity. While positioned as a measure against extremism and for cultural preservation, the law has sparked controversy domestically and internationally, raising concerns about religious freedom and human rights in the region.

This report provides an overview of Tajikistan's recent legislative actions regarding the hijab and its implications for religious freedom and cultural identity.

   


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