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Kyrgyz Imam Sues School Over Islamic Head-Scarf Ban

ORTO-ORUKTU -- A local imam in northern Kyrgyzstan has filed a lawsuit against a secondary school for not allowing his daughter to wear an Islamic head scarf, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.
Imam Kanatbek Turdukojoev, from the Orto-Oruktu village in the Issyk-Kul Province, initiated the lawsuit after his daughter Amina, 11, was barred from classes for wearing a head scarf.

The court hearing is scheduled for September 16. Amina is the only girl in her class who wears a head scarf. She and her father say no students have objected to her head scarf.
Turdukojoev said he wants to force the school administration to allow his daughter to attend classes with a head scarf.
The Bishkek-based nongovernmental organization Mutakallim, which defends the rights of Kyrgyz Muslim women, held a meeting on September 13 at which NGO leader Jamat Frontbek-Kyzy said female students who wear the Islamic head scarf are being discriminated against in Kyrgyzstan.
Frontbek-Kyzy said when the school year began on September 1, many female Muslim students were either forced to stop wearing their head scarf or were expelled from schools if they insisted on doing so.
Education and Science Ministry officials told RFE/RL on September 13 that while there is no legislation banning Islamic head scarves at secondary schools, there is an established uniform for all students and it does not include a head scarf.

Read more in Kyrgyz here