Russia: Putin opposes head scarves in schools
|Publisher||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty|
|Publication Date||18 October 2012|
|Cite as||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Russia: Putin opposes head scarves in schools, 18 October 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/50890741c.html [accessed 23 October 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
October 18, 2012
An estimated 20 million of Russia's 143 million citizens are Muslims. (file photo)
President Vladimir Putin has spoken out against the wearing of head scarves in Russian schools.
In his first public comment about the highly sensitive issue, Putin's statement on October 18 followed a recent incident in Russia's southern Stavropol region where a school principal forbade Muslim girls from donning head scarves in school.
The principal said later that she was threatened after the girls' parents protested the move.
Asked to comment on the issue, Putin said he was against head scarves in schools because Russia is a secular state and must create equal conditions for all its citizens.
An estimated 20 million of Russia's 143 million citizens are Muslims.
Muslims make up the majority of the population in many Russian regions – including the North Caucasus.
Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and AP