Muslim pupils barred from wearing scarves

Oct. 15, 2012 at 10:23 AM

STAVROPOL, Russia, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- Several Muslim families have lodged complaints their daughters have been prevented from attending school while wearing headscarves in Stavropol, Russia.

The families took their concerns to the local muftiat, a Muslim scholar who interprets Sharia law, RIA Novosti reported Monday.

"In a heavily Muslim district girls are not allowed to attend schools in headscarves. Parents of the Muslim girls do not let the girls attend schools without scarves," a spokesperson for the regional muftiat said in a statement.

The spokesman said the muftiat is concern about the girls' academic performance because they have not been allowed to attend school for two weeks.

"The parents emphasize that in general teachers do not discriminate [against] the girls on their religion. But they are following the instructions of higher authorities," the spokesman said.

"I would like to speak about the shortsightedness of our officials who demonstrate religious intolerance. For example, about 3,000 people, mostly Muslims, mostly ethnic Nogais and Dagestanis live in the village of Karatub," the muftiat said in a statement.

Ilona Vasyuk, the deputy head of the Neftekumsk district where Stavropol is located, said the prosecutor's office is investigating the complaints.

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