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Hijab is not the prime attribute of being a Muslim: Chairman of the Kazakhstan’s Agency for Religion

09 june 2011, 11:45
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Lama Sharif Kairat Kayirbekuly. flickr.com
Lama Sharif Kairat Kayirbekuly. flickr.com
Lama Sharif Kairat Kayirbekuly, the Chairman of the Kazakhstan’s Agency for Religion does not consider hijab a major attribute of being a Muslim, Tengrinews.kz reports.

“Wearing a hijab is not an indicator of whether a person is Muslim or not (…) It is more of an attribute of the Arabic culture, bedouin culture. Allowing Kazakh women to wear a hijab, to some extent we are losing our national identity.

"There are only about 16 million Kazakhs inside the country (…) therefore, we should primarily preserve our national traditions. I believe a hijab is not the prime attribute of being a Muslim”, he told journalists June 8.

“Islam has been developing in Kazakhstan not only for the recent 20 years (…) There are a lot of traditions – national traditions interweaved with religion traditions. We need to develop a renewed vision of rituals and certain traditions, including wearing religion clothes”, he said.

Lama Sharif Kairat Kayirbekuly was appointed Chairman of the Kazakhstan’s Agency for Religion June 7. Before that he served as Kazakhstan’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
The Agency was launched May 21, 2011.

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