Last Updated: Friday, 17 November 2017, 15:16 GMT

No Hijab, Please, We're Tajik

Publisher Institute for War and Peace Reporting
Author Yosuman Jamshed
Publication Date 8 May 2015
Citation / Document Symbol RCA Issue 759
Cite as Institute for War and Peace Reporting, No Hijab, Please, We're Tajik, 8 May 2015, RCA Issue 759, available at: [accessed 19 November 2017]
DisclaimerThis 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.

The authorities in Tajikistan have launched an official campaign to stop women wearing "hijab" or Islamic styles of clothing.

Tajikistan's population is overwhelmingly Muslim, but officials see the hijab and other outward expressions of the faith - like beards for men - as a sign of extremism, and possible links to outlawed radical groups. They frequently jail people for joining organisations like Hizb ut-Tahrir and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and in recent months they have been concerned that Islamic State is recruiting Tajiks.

In a March 6 speech, President Imomali Rahmon said hijab was alien to Tajik tradition, and he encouraged women to wear national dress instead. Long dresses and headscarves are still a common sight in Tajikistan, and are usually brightly multicoloured instead of the black associated with the hijab.

Soon afterwards, local officials ordered the closure of shops selling Islamic styles of clothing for women, and police started stopping women in the street and threatening them with penalties unless they discarded the hijab.

Copyright notice: © Institute for War & Peace Reporting

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