Veil ban protests ‘could be staged from secret circles’
BAKU – Azerbaijani Parliament Vice-Speaker Bahar Muradova has said recent protests against the ban on wearing veils in schools could have been orchestrated "from secret circles".
Muradova told the press Wednesday that she supports the Education Ministry’s position on the issue.
There is no explicit ban on the wearing of head scarves in schools, but the government in Baku this year introduced a standard school uniform which precludes traditional Islamic dress. Last Thursday, Education Minister Misir Mardanov said every middle school student in the country must wear the standard school uniform in class but is free to wear anything else outside school walls. A day later, a group of believers attempted to hold an unauthorized protest outside the ministry. 16 defiant protesters had been detained. Five of them were released after receiving a warning, while the cases of the others were sent to court.
"There is a law on education in Azerbaijan, every educational institution has its own bylaws and its regulations must be observed," Muradova said. "The standard school uniform is a requirement that has been put in place in Azerbaijani schools and it has to be complied with."
Muradova added that a tough stance should be put forward to counter tension being deliberately caused by outside forces over the issue.