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Tajikistan Bans Hijab and Eid Custom to Promote Secularism



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In a significant move to promote a secular national identity, the Muslim-majority nation of Tajikistan has implemented a ban on the hijab, referring to it as an ‘alien garment’. This decision, endorsed by President Emomali Rahmon, underscores the government’s effort to cultivate a more secular image within the Central-Asian country.

With over 96% of Tajikistan’s population adhering to Islam, the prohibition of the hijab introduces heavy fines of up to 65,000 somoni for offenders, including government officials and religious figures. This legislative initiative aims to deter the wearing of Arabic veils and reinforce a more secular societal ethos.

Not limited solely to hijab restrictions, President Rahmon also signed off on laws aimed at curbing ‘overspending’ and abolishing the traditional Eid custom known as Idi. The decision to ban Idi, often associated with the festive periods of Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, and Nowruz, received mixed reactions within Tajikistan.

Sulaiman Davlatzoda, the head of Tajikistan’s Religion Committee, emphasized the necessity of prohibiting the cultural practice of Idi to ensure children’s proper education and safety, particularly during the sacred observances of Ramadan and Eid al-Adha. The comprehensive legislative changes reflect the government’s commitment to promoting a distinct national identity.

Rachel Adams

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