Imposing a Ban on Wearing Headscarf in Education Institutions in Azerbaijan Will Deprive Thousands of People from Education: Religious Figure
Azerbaijan, Baku /corr. Trend S.Ilhamgizi / The Azerbaijan's Center for the Protection of Religious Rights and Freedoms of Conscience protests against the draft law on education, imposing a ban for the girls to come to lessons with the headscarf.
"Even, we do not believe that the law will be adopted in such form. If the headscarf will be prohibited in the education institutions, thousand of people will be deprived of their right to get educated," Ilgar Ibrahimoglu, the Head of the Center reported to Trend on 25 December.
One of the articles in the new draft law on education states "the pupils, teachers and the other educational workers are prohibited to come to the educational institutions with the headscarf and the other religious dresses". Till now, the Azerbaijani citizens have the freedom of wearing the headscarf.
According to Ibrahimoglu, this article is directed against the human rights and is contrary to the principles of Azerbaijan Constitution, as well as the international documents joined by Azerbaijan. If such law is adopted, the Parliament of Azerbaijan demonstrates disrespect towards the national and the moral values, and the Azerbaijan will appear as a country violating the human rights, he said.
Appealing to the President of Azerbaijan and the Parliament, the Center asks to remove this article from the draft law and ensure the rights of the believers. The Centre will call the public and civil society structures to render assistance, to exclude the bill which violates human being.
According to Shamsaddin Hajiyev, the chairman of the Parliamentary Commission on Science and Education, nobody should carry the religious dress in the educational centres. Azerbaijan is a secular state and the religin is separate from the state.
Saida Hacamanli, a human right activist considers that the prohibition imposed on wearing the hijab, violates the rights of the believers and sees the serious danger."A contradiction may occur in the country, if a ban is imposed on wearing the hijab. Believers may leave Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan will be dishonored, if its civil asks shelter from other countries," Hojamanli said. According to Hojamanli, the developed countries do not impose the prohibition on wearing the hijab in education centres, and Azerbaijan should also use this experience.
Gunduz Ismaylov, the head of the Department of State Committee on Work with the Religious Structures of Azerbaijan stated to the Trend agency that everybody has the right of living and wearing in compliance with the demands of his religion in Azerbaijan. "There is a legislation in Azerbaijan which states the one uniform in education centres, and everybody should follow this legislation. It is not right to refer the issue as the religious problem and consider it as a violation of the freedom of conscience," Ismaylov said.
In spite of human right activist Committee, the representative considers that the prohibition imposed on wearing the hijab will not cause any danger in the country.
Under the official information by the State Committee, 96% of Azerbaijani population makes the Muslims,out which 65% of them are shiits and the rest 35% are sunnits.
The current education bill of Azerbaijan was passed in 1992. Since 1995, the Parliament launched to develop a new bill, but no bill has been developed for the 12 years. The new bill is expected to be discussed during the Parliamentary session on 28 December.
According to the Article 18 of the Azerbaijani Constitution, the religion is separate from the state, all the religions are equal before law and the state educational system carries a secular character.