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Second grader in hijab erupts controversy in Kazakhstan 29 января 2015, 18:17

A girl in southern Kazakhstan is prevented from attending school classes unless she takes off her headscarf.
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Courtesy of 31 Channel Courtesy of 31 Channel

A scandal over a school girl’s headscarf is unfolding in the southern Kazakhstan city of Arys, Tengrinews reports citing 31 Channel.

Aisha Yeskermes is prevented from going to school because she is wearing a headscarf. 

Parents brought Aisha to school wearing a hijab on January 17. The administration of the school demanded that the girl removed the headscarf, saying that otherwise, the girl would not be allowed to attending her lessons.

The girl's father Ruslanbek Abilov explained: "We adhere to the religion of Islam. In the Holy Quran – Surah an-Nur ayah 31 – it says that all women wear a headscarf and long shirts. And we adhere to this, that ‘awrat (intimate parts) should be covered. That is our decision."

The school argues that Aisha’s parents violate the statute of the institution, which stipulates that the school uniform does not include a headdress for either girls or boys.

"The parents brought the girl wearing a scarf on January 17. We called the parents, explained that according to Kazakhstan's Law on Education students must comply with the internal rules of the school. One cannot wear a headscarf to school. Then we gathered other children's parents for a meeting and 99 percent of them supported the decision of the school administration. They even demanded that the girl was transferred to another school," said the school’s vice-principal Talgat Akhmetov.

The city department of education also supported the position of the school administration. They stressed, nevertheless, that there was no specific prohibition on wearing headscarves.

Assistant of the head Imam (Islamic worship leader) of South Kazakhstan Oblast Urken Saparkulov also sided with the school. Even before the incident started to unfold he had explained to the parents that adherence to the country's rules and regulations was not inconsistent with the faith. He suggested the hijab to be worn outside of school.
By Dinara Urazova

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