30 January 2017, 11:15
Tatarstan mufti slams Russian education minster for remarks about Muslim headscarf
Kazan, January 30, Interfax - Tatarstan Mufti Kamil Samigullin said he was alarmed by Russian Education Minister Olga Vasilyeva's remarks on the topic of traditional Muslim headscarves.
"Xenophobia is a modern social ill that is particularly dangerous for our multiethnic country. This is exactly why it was with alarm in my heart that I took the remarks by Russian Education and Science Minister Olga Vasilyeva, who spoke out against the historical cultural values of the indigenous Muslim peoples of Russia," Samigullin said on his Telegram channel.
Even if Vasilyeva's attitude towards the Muslim headscarf is just her personal opinion and not the official position of the ministry, "such a statement is an alarming sign," the mufti said.
"De-facto it is pandering to the marginal forces that are seeking, through the practice of religious discrimination, to create unhealthy tensions within our society and split the fundamental unity of the multiethnic Russian people," Samigullin said.
"I am certain that such forces in Russia have no deep grounds and thus no prospect either. And I am convinced that all of us must learn to respect and educate ourselves about each other's traditions," he said.
Russian Education and Science Minister Olga Vasilyeva said earlier that pupils of Russian schools should not demonstrate their faith by wearing certain religious items.
"I do not think that truly faithful people try to emphasize their attitude to faith by attributes. Our education system is secular," Vasilyeva said when commenting on a ban for pupils and teachers at a school in the village of Belozerye, Mordovia, to wear headscarves. A similar situation occurred in the Stavropol Territory several years ago, the minister said.