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Chechen Parliament Allows Head Scarves For Schoolgirls

Headscarf-wearing female students attend classes at the Grozny State Oil Institute in Chechnya.

Lawmakers in Russia's Muslim-majority, North Caucasus region of Chechnya have voted to allow schoolgirls to wear traditional Islamic head scarves, or hijabs.

The Chechen parliament announced that the amendments to the regional law on education were adopted on March 30.

The legislature asserted that the amendments do not contradict Russia's federal laws and regulations and that they secure the rights of students to wear clothes or symbols in line with their traditions and faith on the condition that such clothes do not harm their health or violate the rights and freedoms of other people.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Moscow on March 31 that the Kremlin did not have a unified stance on Chechnya's move, adding that the issue was being resolved in different areas differently.

The issue of hijabs for schoolgirls has been a matter of heated debate for some time.

In January, Education Minister Olga Vasilyeva faced harsh criticism from the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, and Russia's Islamic clerics for her call to ban hijabs in schools across Russia, asserting that it is a secular state.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax