Local Russian Hijab Ban Puts Muslims in a Squeeze

on Friday, September 27, 2013

For the Muslim womenfolk, Hijab is considered an integral part which guides their modesty. The Muslim women consider Hijab to be an important part of their religion, and most women want to cover their heads when they go out in public. This is an easy thing to do if you are already living in an Islamic country, but if you are living somewhere abroad, following the Islamic way of life can be extremely challenging.

In places like France and now Russia, the feminists and those who believe in the secular form of  government  feel that Hijab is a symbol of oppression. The feminists are of the opinion that when a woman covers herself up with Hijab, she is actually portraying a very submissive attitude. She automatically becomes the weaker sex. Those who are in support of the secular government, are already against anything which even remotely has a religious base, so Hijab for them is strictly something which is frowned upon.

Stavropol is a multiethnic region in which recently the Supreme Court of Russia has declared a ban on Hijabs. Any student if when at school is caught wearing a hijab will have to face some dire consequences. Those who are in support of this decision, back up their argument by saying that the only reason they are banning Hijabs is because the Russian constitution itself is secular in nature.

However, the Muslims of that region say that the Russian government cannot impose this ban on us because no regional government whatsoever has the right to condemn the constitutional rights of its citizens, and one of the most basic constitutional rights is the freedom of religion. Therefore, Hijab is an important part of Islam and Muslims living in Russia cannot be forced to abandon it.

The schools at Stavropol now have a proper dress code in which along with revealing clothes, Hijab is also banned. This is very distressing for the Muslims who are living in that area because their daughters who wear Hijab are simply not allowed to enter the schools. The regional court of Stavropol has passed its final verdict that the dress code which has been introduced by the schools is legal, and no matter who protests and they protest, the verdict is final. The dress code is staying.

The Muslim women of that area are left with little to no choice, either they get their daughters to cover their heads or either they send them to school. They cannot do both, and this is resulting in a big conflict for the Russian Muslim communities who do not know what to do. Both the options have their disadvantage. If they opt for Hijab, then they will not be able to receive education, if they opt for education, they will be compromising on their religion.

Muslims who are living in non-Muslim countries often have to face this dilemma. May Allah (SWT) help our Muslims sisters in making the right choice. Amen.

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