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Articles > Muslim civil rights > High Court of Russia Reaffirms Hijab Ban in Schools of Stavropol Krai

The High Court of Russia agreed with the government decree of Stavropol Territory that prohibits Muslim girls from wearing hijab in schools. Thus, the appeal of a number of citizens to declare this act illegal and invalid was dismissed.

"The decision of Stavropol territorial court to render lawful the government decree of Stavropol Territory remains unchanged; appeal is declined," said judge Valentin Pirozhkov.

The court has only announced the resolution part of the decision today. The full text of the decision will be given to the parties in the nearest time.

After the session, plaintiff's counsel Murad Musaev declared court's decision politically charged and derogatory to the religious rights of Muslims. According to him, the court bases its decision solely on legal and political cliches, which only leads to further religious discrimination. As a result of this, he says, Muslim girls may have to leave public schools. "This is why we shall appeal this decision until we succeed in reversing the judgment," said the lawyer quoted by ITAR-TASS. However, he did not rule out appealing to the European Court of Human Rights. "I don’t know, we will try to reverse it in Russian court, and then decide," he said.

In his turn, the representative of the Governor of the Stavropol Territory Vladimir Molchanov said that he is "satisfied by the court decision." He once again pointed out that the introduction of school uniform is designed to eliminate social and religious differences between students.

"It is better to let them all feel equal"

In October 2012, the director of a school in the Stavropol Territory banned schoolgirls to wear the hijab. The controversy came to the federal level. As a result, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed himself against allowing the hijab in schools and supported the idea of ​​reintroducing school uniform. He stressed that Russia is a secular state, and "from this we should proceed." "It is better to let them all feel equal," said the president.

According to surveys, more than half of Russians oppose to the demonstration of religiosity at school.

"These scarves do not disturb anyone"

Later, the Stavropol Regional Court upheld the ban on wearing headscarves in schools. The plaintiffs have appealed to the Supreme Court, claiming the decision violates the religious freedom of Muslim children and their right of education. "We ask to provide children a bit of personal freedom, because these scarves do not disturb anyone," said the plaintiffs' attorney Murad Musayev. However, the prosecutor said that the ban on headscarves complies with the law on education, which determines its secular nature.

Meanwhile, on September 1 to enters into force a new law on education, which establishes the requirements for a school uniform chosen by the school administration. Basic requirements include a ban on bright colors, pants and skirts with a low waist and high slits, elements that cover the face, as well as religious clothing. Huge accessories, symbols of informal groups and piercings are also strictly regulated.

ITAR-TASS, July 10

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