Hijab ban imposed in Muslim majority country

Hijab ban imposed in Muslim majority country

The government of Kazakhstan has made a controversial decision to prohibit the wearing of hijab headscarves by both students and teachers in schools, citing the importance of maintaining a secular state. This move has sparked intense reactions within the country, leading to a significant debate.

The government's rationale behind the ban is rooted in the notion that it is crucial to uphold a secular state. Official statistics indicate that approximately 70% of Kazakhstan's population practices Islam, but proponents of the ban argue that Kazakhstan, as a secular country, should refrain from showing favoritism towards any specific religion.

However, this ban has faced significant opposition from various segments of the population, with critics contending that it encroaches upon the freedom of conscience. Some individuals have resorted to extreme measures to protest this decision.

For example, in one region, about 150 girls have dropped out of school in response to the hijab ban since September. In another incident, two men attacked a school director because she did not allow girls wearing hijabs to attend classes.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has come forward to defend the ban while emphasizing that Kazakhstan's commitment to being a secular state will persist.