News Brief

Islamic Country Tajikistan Bans Hijabs, Prohibits Children Celebrating Eid As Majlisi Milli Passes Bill

Swarajya Staff

Jun 21, 2024, 12:33 PM | Updated 12:31 PM IST

Students in hijab. (Representative Image)
Students in hijab. (Representative Image)

Tajikistan is poised to enforce a hijab ban following the approval of a bill by the upper chamber of the country's Parliament on 19 June.

The bill was passed during the 18th session of the upper house, Majlisi Milli, under the leadership of Rustam Emomali, as reported by Livemint.

The legislation introduced in the Majlisi Milli prohibits "alien garments" and bans children's celebrations during two significant Islamic holidays, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. These festivals, known as idgardak, traditionally involve children visiting houses in their neighbourhoods to extend greetings.

This move follows the lower chamber of Parliament, Majlisi Namoyandagon, approving the bill on 8 May. The bill specifically targets traditional clothing, including the hijab, an Islamic headscarf.

Amendments to the code of administrative violations were approved by Majlisi Namoyandagon, introducing substantial fines for non-compliance. Previously, the code did not list the hijab or other religious clothing as violations.

Penalties for offenders now range from 7,920 somonis for individuals to 39,500 somonis for legal entities. Government officials and religious authorities can face even steeper fines, between 54,000 somonis and 57,600 somonis, upon conviction.

Islamic country Tajikistan's formal prohibition on the hijab follows years of an unofficial ban. The country has also unofficially banned bushy beards.

In 2007, the Education Ministry banned both Islamic clothing and Western-style miniskirts for students, later extending this ban to all public institutions.

In recent years, the Tajik government has promoted the wearing of national dress. The "Guidebook Of Recommended Outfits In Tajikistan," released in 2018, and urging women to wear Tajik national attire, are part of this campaign.

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