Tajikistan bans hijabs and children's Islamic celebrations, urges women to wear Tajik national dress

The nation of Tajikistan approved a bill that would impose a hijab ban, referring to the Islamic head coverings in the legislation as "alien garments." The bill was passed on June 19 by the Majilisi Milli during the 18th session of the upper house of Parliament, Live Mint reports.

The official hijab ban comes after years of an unofficial ban in the Central Asian nation. The lower chamber of the Tajik parliament, Majlisi Manoyandagon, approved the bill on May 8.

This, while Tajikistan contains around 10 million Muslims and over 96% of people in the country follow various sects of Islam, according to India Today.

The bill banned both "alien garments" and children's celebrations for two of the most important holidays on the Islamic calendar, the Eid al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. During these Muslim festivals, known as idgardak, children greet people in the streets and visit houses.

The lower chamber approved amendments to the code of administrative violations to include the hijab and other religious apparel violations. Those who violate the law are subjected to substantial penalties under the new amendments.

Radio Liberty's Talk Service reported that penalties for offenders range from 7,920 somonis for civilians, while government officials and religious authorities face a fine of 39,500 should they offend the law.

The Education Ministry banned Islamic clothing and mini-skirts for students in public institutions in 2007. In 2017, the Tajik government sent text messages, urging women to wear the country's national attire. The country launched an official campaign in 2018 to encourage the wearing of Tajik national dress.

Image: Title: Tajikistan