It joins a long list of countries that have placed bans on Islamic dress…

Tajikistan has passed a controversial new law that will prevent Muslim women from being able to wear the hijab.

According to the Times of India, the legislation requires people to “stick to traditional national clothes and culture” – a move seen as a crackdown on Islamic clothing.

Women in the central Asian country traditionally wear a scarf tied behind their heads, instead of a hijab, which is wrapped under the chin.

Although Tajikistan is a Muslim-majority country, the Minister of Culture, Shamsiddin Orumbekzoda, said Islamic dress was “really dangerous”.

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Speaking on Radio Free Europe, he said “everyone” looked at women wearing headscarves “with concern, worried they could be hiding something under their hijab.”

While the new law does not specifically mention the hijab, officials have previously said the headscarf represents an “alien culture”. In August, authorities approached more than 8,000 hijabi women in the capital of Dushanbe and ordered them to wear their scarves in the Tajik style, the Times of India reported.

Women wearing the hijab are already banned from entering the country’s government offices.

Where else is Islamic dress banned?

Earlier this year, the European Union’s top court ruled that employers are allowed to ban the “visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign”, including the hijab.

Several countries have banned the wearing of the burqa and niqab.

France was the first European country to ban the burqa – a clampdown on students in state-run schools began in 2004, and the law came into full effect in April 2011. Anyone caught wearing the burqa or niqab is fined €150 (Dhs749).

Belgium, which introduced a similar ban shortly after France, goes even further – anyone caught wearing the veil risks being jailed for up to seven days and fined €1,378 (Dhs5,685).

 
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In January, it was reported that the import, manufacture and marketing of the burqa had also been banned in Morocco.

For a full list of countries where the burqa is forbidden, click here.

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