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Chechen Parliament guarantees right to wear hijab and other religious symbols in schools

31 March 2017

At a session of the Chechen Parliament on 31 March, a bill was approved guaranteeing schoolchildren and students the right to wear the hijab and other religious symbols. MPs voted unanimously for the bill, which will apply throughout Chechnya.

Bekhan Khazbulatov, head of the parliamentary Education, Science and Culture Committee, told parliament that the bill will guarantee that educational policy in Chechnya is carried out without infringing on students’ national traditions and religious beliefs. He also stressed that the new regulation does not contradict Federal Russian regulations on school uniforms.

‘This bill will be an unquestionable legal aid in improving the effectiveness of the activities of educational organisations and observance of the constitutional rights of students’, Parliamentary Chair Magomed Daudov remarked while commenting on the bill.

In January, a conflict on the issue of religious clothing in schools emerged in a village in the Russian Republic of Mordovia, in which primarily Muslim, ethnic Tatars live. The administration of the village’s school banned girls from wearing the hijab.

Russian Education Minister Olga Vasilyeva took the side of the school administration, stating that ‘true believers’, in her opinion, do not try to ‘emphasise their attitude to faith with symbols’. She added that according to a ruling by the Constitutional Court, hijabs do not belong in schools.

Chechen Head Ramzan Kadyrov criticised the minister at the time, saying that his daughters would never give up wearing their hijabs at school.