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Tajikistan Government's Enforcement Efforts Rile Muslims
In Tajikistan, officially a secular country with a population that is 90% Muslim, several developments indicate tensions between the government and Islam. Yesterday's International Herald Tribune reported that Tajik school authorities are introducing a new dress code that reinforces the ban on wearing the hijab (Islamic head scarf). Meanwhile, IRSN reports on a new enforcement effort aimed at unregistered mosques in the capital city of Dushanbe. The move is aimed at ridding the country of Muslim extremists, but it threatens to alienate moderate Muslims as well. Adding to the tensions was a raid in mid-March by police on Dushanbe's main mosque to enforce the requirement that children under 18 must be in school rather than attend Friday prayer services.
From Religion Clause posted 2007-04-19.