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Tajikistan Bans Hijab And Public Eid Celebrations, Declaring Them “Foreign Culture

In a controversial move, the Tajik government has officially banned the hijab and public Eid celebrations, citing these practices as elements of “foreign culture” that do not align with the country’s national identity. This decision has sparked a wave of reactions both domestically and internationally.v

The announcement came from the Tajikistan Ministry of Culture, which stated, “The government aims to preserve the secular nature of the state and protect the national cultural heritage from foreign influences.” Officials argue that the hijab and public Eid celebrations are not part of Tajikistan’s traditional practices and therefore should be regulated.

Minister of Culture, Zulfiya Davlatzoda, emphasized, “We respect all religions, but we must ensure that our cultural practices remain true to our heritage. The hijab and public Eid festivities are not historical traditions of Tajikistan; they are influences from other regions.”

The decision has been met with mixed reactions within the country. Some citizens support the move, viewing it as a step towards maintaining a distinct national identity. However, others, particularly within the Muslim community, see it as an infringement on religious freedom and personal rights.

A local resident, Farida Abdulloyeva, expressed her concern, “For many of us, the hijab is not just a piece of clothing; it’s a part of our faith. This ban feels like an attack on our religious identity.”

Internationally, the ban has drawn criticism from human rights organizations and Muslim-majority countries. Amnesty International issued a statement condemning the decision, calling it “a blatant violation of religious freedom and a step backwards for human rights in Tajikistan.”

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) also expressed its disapproval. In a press release, OIC Secretary General Hissein Brahim Taha said, “Such measures are deeply concerning and counterproductive to fostering cultural and religious understanding.”

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Tajikistan, a predominantly Muslim country with over 90% of its population identifying as Muslim, has a complex history with religious practices. The government has previously implemented policies aimed at curbing religious extremism, including restrictions on religious attire and practices. This latest ban is seen as part of a broader effort to control religious expression and maintain secularism.

As the ban takes effect, the international community will be watching closely to see how it impacts Tajikistan’s social fabric and international relations. The move raises important questions about the balance between national identity and religious freedom, and how countries navigate these complex issues in an increasingly globalized world….See More

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