Hijab barred in Kyrgyzstan school...

Penindasan... "islam is the way of life"

BISHKEK — Kyrgyzstan, a predominantly Muslim Central Asian state, has barred school students from wearing hijab, a decision blasted by rights advocates as running against the very principles of religious freedom.

"We are a secular state," Damira Kudaibergenova, a senior Education Ministry official, told Reuters.
"When the choice is between education and a headscarf we choose education."

Education official declared that schoolgirls will no longer be allowed to wear hijab, an obligatory code of dress that every Muslim woman must wear, in state schools.
The decision is aimed at ensuring a secular learning environment for students said Kudaibergenova.

"Children are coming under a massive attack and we will protect them."
Kudaibergenova said the hijab ban was also part of efforts to "suppress religious and extremist phenomena."

Schools have been instructed to monitor students for evidence of "the influence of religious extremism" and to watch the attendance of students who miss Friday lessons due to religious commitments, like prayers.
Muslims make up 75 percent of Kyrgyzstan's 5-million population.

Religious freedom

Rights advocates warned that the hijab ban was the latest of attacks on religious freedom in the impoverished mountainous country.
Tursunbek Akun, a famed human rights activist, said the ban contravenes the principles of religious freedom guaranteed under the Constitution.

The hijab dispute is no new in Kyrgyzstan.
Every year with the start of the school year, several Muslim girls face exclusion from state schools for wearing hijab.
Schools' officials have been citing guidelines instructing them to interpret and enforce the school dress code more strictly.

The right to religious freedom has increasingly come under attack in Kyrgyzstan, according to domestic and international rights activists.

In January, President Kurmanbek Bakiyev signed a law banning proselytism, private religious education and the import or dissemination of religious literature.
The law also requires all religious communities to register with the state.

Source: IslamOnline