From Baku to Dushanbe, anger and frustration is growing over government curbs on the Muslim headscarf. The Tajik education ministry announced October 19 it had banned the hijab at all secular schools. In Azerbaijan, thousands of women have been deprived of political and civil rights as the result of a divisive law banning women from wearing the head scarf in photographs on all identity documents.
Shirin Azizmamadova is the pseudonym of an independent journalist in Dushanbe. Zarema Velikhanova in an independent journalist in Baku.
© 2005 IWPR – This article was first published on 17 November 2005 (WP No. 14) by the Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR), London. Posted on Religioscope with permission. Articles published by the IWPR on Afghanistan, Central Asia, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Iraq as well as other topics can be accessed on its website: www.iwpr.net