Hijab, beard is banned in this country with 96% Muslim population

Tajikistan, which is constitutionally secular, has a Muslim majority of more than 95 percent.

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Hijab, beard is banned in this country with 96% Muslim population


In Islamic countries, you will mostly see men with long beards and women wearing hijabs. However, breaking away from this traditional norm, there is an Islamic country that has implemented a strict policy that prohibits women from wearing hijabs and men from growing beards.

This country is Tajikistan, which is constitutionally secular and has a Muslim majority of more than 95 percent. Tajikistan holds a rich history, where President Emomali Rahmon has been the president for almost three decades.

As per a report published in The Diplomat in 2015, there are also rules preventing female students under the age of 18 from wearing hijab. 

People below 18 aren't permitted to participate in public religious ceremonies except funerals. The state also exercises control over private events such as funerals and weddings. Though these events aren't outrightly banned, they fall under government control to grant permission and how many people will attend will also be decided by the government. This situation continues to remain prevalent even today.

The US International Religious Freedom Report (USCIRF) 2024 has mentioned that the current dismal record of the Tajikistan government on religious freedom is getting worse. 

President Emomali Rahmon's regime maintains its repressive policies. It suppresses public religious sentiments and oppresses minority communities. They have put a ban on ceremonies such as weddings and funerals. Added to these prohibitions, beards and hijabs have also been banned. This means men are required to keep their faces clean-shaven.

Moreover, according to the US report, Islamic bookstores were forcibly closed in Dushanbe in 2022. The government had restricted the import of religious materials, requiring their approval. However, it was reopened in 2023. The reopened shops are reportedly no longer allowed to sell Islamic books. The Tajikistan government describes its policies as necessary to prevent radicalism. As Tajikistan shares borders with Afghanistan, it is vulnerable to threats from the Taliban and ISIS.

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