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Kazakh Teacher Not Allowed To Wear Hijab At School

Aida Dekebaeva wants to wear the hijab while teaching.

Aida Dekebaeva wants to wear the hijab while teaching.

A high school geography teacher in the southeastern Kazakh city of Taldy-Qorghan has turned to the Prosecutor's Office for permission to wear an Islamic head scarf (hijab) while teaching, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Aida Dekebaeva says school principal Gulnara Muratbekova "recommended" that she not wear the hijab while teaching.

Dekebaeva said the school recently adopted a dress code that bans head scarves for both students and teachers.

Muratbekova told RFE/RL that she warned Dekebaeva about the way she dresses and told her to make sure it is in accordance with Education Department guidelines.

Meanwhile, local human rights activist Aliya Kasymkhankyzy told RFE/RL that the constitution protects the right of every citizen to worship any religion and school principals should respect Dekebaeva's right to dress as she wishes.

Dekebaeva says she is ready for a long-term fight but is awaiting the Prosecutor's Office to respond to her letter.

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