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DUSHANBE -- Five Tajik Islamic scholars are praising religious freedom in the United States after returning from a trip there, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Mirzo Hajji, a prominent Muslim scholar from the Kulob district of the southern Khatlon region, said that he and four other Islamic leaders from different parts of Tajikistan recently spent three weeks in six U.S. states.

Hajji said he was surprised by the freedom that Muslims and the followers of other religions have in the United States.

He said a highlight of his trip was when the five visitors prayed at the U.S. capitol building, something they could not do at the Tajik parliament.

Hajji added that Americans have no restrictions on what they can wear, noting the ban in Tajikistan on women wearing the hijab, or Islamic head scarf, in schools. He said his group even met hijab-wearing women employees at the U.S. State Department.

Hajji said his group was amazed to see six mosques on one street in a largely Muslim section of Detroit.
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