Astana, February 7, Interfax - Kazakh Senate Speaker Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev has spoken against hijabs in Kazakh schools, urging not to follow "false religious stereotypes."
"Every young man in our country, regardless of religious affiliation, should have respect for the state, its laws and symbols. In schools, people need to follow standards of conduct and clothing that are based on international experience, but at the same time take into account the national traditions of our people," Tokayev said at a roundtable on youth policy on Thursday.
"We should not blindly follow false religious stereotypes, which came to us form outside. We have our own national traditions," he said.
"It is unacceptable when children essentially lose an opportunity to get secondary or higher education and are cut off from sources of knowledge because of religious convictions. In my view, there is currently no sound position on this issue. We expect coordinated work between the parliament and the government," Tokayev said.
At the same time, he spoke about the problem of violence among school students. "One needs to admit that violence in schools is a flaw in the work of all state authorities. We should not turn a blind eye to this problem. We need to analyze the causes and take systemic measures to eliminate the atmosphere of fear in our schools," Tokayev said.
Situations of violence, bullying, intimidation and mockery in Kazakhstan's schools, which have been reported recently, drew broad public response, he said.