20 December 2012, 15:11
Putin on hijabs: we won't adopt alien traditions
Moscow, December 20, Interfax - President Vladimir Putin has opposed the wearing of hijabs by Muslim girls in Russian schools.
"There are no hijabs in our culture, and when I say our I mean our traditional Islam," he told a grand press conference in Moscow on Thursday.
"Authoritative statesmen in the Islamic world also say this should not be done. Shall we adopt alien traditions? Why would we do that?" he wondered.
The president recalled his attendance in a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Conference (currently the Organization of Islamic Cooperation) to which Russia is an observer. "An acclaimed Islamic personality said in his public speech: what are we doing? We prohibit our girls and women from studying, we force them to wear paranjas, and we create an environment that halts women's development. That is a mistake," Putin quoted. He added that the speaker "was sincere and made his statement in public."
The Stavropol territorial muftis reported in October 2012 that the families of some schoolgirls had complained about the prohibition to wear hijabs to school. Marina Savchenko, the principal of the 12th school in Kara-Tyube, initiated the ban.
Russian Education Minister Dmitry Livanov said that wearing hijabs in the Stavropol territory did not contradict the school's rules or customs.
Stavropol Governor Valery Zerenkov demanded the immediate drafting of a territorial normative legal act, which would regulate the school wear. Regional Education Minister Irina Kuvaldina said that schools of the Stavropol region would have their classic uniforms.
It was announced on November 19 that the school principal, who had prohibited girls from wearing hijabs, resigned.
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