Putin opposes headscarves in Russian schools

President Vladimir Putin spoke against the wearing of hijabs at Russian schools Thursday saying that the practice runs counter to Russian traditions. “Why should we adopt outside traditions?” Putin said during a marathon question-and-answer session with Russian and foreign reporters on Thursday.

A test case of Russia’s hijab policy emerged in October, when Muslim parents in a village in Russia’s southern Stavropol Region complained to prosecutors over a ban on headscarves at their daughters’ school. The parents said the ban violated their daughters’ constitutional rights to receive an education and practice their religion.

Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported on Tuesday that Stavropol governor Valery Zerenkov signed regulations banning school students from wearing headscarves as well as “immodest” dress such as shorts and low-cut dresses.

Education and Science Minister Dmitry Livanov had previously said wearing headscarves did not violate any law on education.

It was not immediately clear whether the headscarf ban applies to all educational institutions in the district or only state-run schools.

RIA Novosti, 20 December 2012