International Islamic Academy set regulations on uniforms in September 2018, and the girls who were wearing the headscarf were not allowed to enter the academy. Many girls had to take off their headscarves or wear wigs. The girls who opposed it were dismissed. Luiza Muminjonova is one of them
She sees the prohibition of headscarves as the constraints on freedom of integrity and faith. Luiza decided to stand up for her right and appeal to Court. However, low and middle stages reached a verdict against her. And Supreme Court is being expected to come to a final decision for this protracted matter.
We talked to Luiza Muminjonova and were interested in the situation. She spoke about the genesis of the matter.
- I was accepted to Pilgrimage tourism faculty of Islamic Academy gaining state grant last year. Girls were not allowed to enter the academy with their headscarves at this time.
The girls, who reside in a dormitory, did not take off their headscarves, and they were dismissed. Over a hundred girls would wear headscarves. Meetings were held on initial days of the academic year. The topic was about the headscarf. As I was not allowed to enter the campus, I had to come back to Khorezm.
After some time, it became known that I was dismissed. I was dismissed because of a headscarf, however, attendance was identified as a reason in the decree. I was so gutted and appealed to the court of Shaykhontokhur district, Tashkent city. But outcomes were not favorable. Then we turned to the city court, but it did not work out too. Supreme Court is dealing with the matter now.
In the first trial, the court did not examine our materials, on the contrary materials submitted by the academy was scrutinized. City court was more transparent. However, the verdict did not correspond with what the court said.
Was there any pressure on the students?
- After I got into the academy, I settled in a dormitory. They visited the dormitory and told us to enter the educational campus without a headscarf. It was so shocking. Because When I was applying to the academy, nothing regarding headscarf was mentioned. On September 5, the girls wearing headscarves were not allowed to enter the academy. They held numerous meetings. They talked to us according to our psychological state. For example, my parents were divorced and they tried to touch my sore spot: “your mother is trying so hard. If you are dismissed, can you imagine how your mother would feel about you?”
- Prohibition of headscarf was included in regulations of Islam Academy. Girls witnessed that. After some time, they amended this. However, they did not admit it in a trial. Some changes were made in regulations of the academy. To be more exact, girls can wear “adras” (a type of fabric) headscarf and tie on the back side of a neck. This is contradictory to Islamic ethics.
How did people’s attitudes become to Luiza after this situation? Whose attitude changed and whose not?
- Majority of people supported me. Not only people who are good at religious knowledge but also women consider themselves as feminists became sympathetic to me. Actually, those who have their independent perspectives approved me. I think people who are responsible for this matter may be provocative. Because we faced it during the trial. I reckon president Shavkat Mirziyoyev is not associated with them. Even he may be unaware of what is going on. Openness and transparency should be ensured for the implementation of reforms established by the head of state. One example can be that: when guests from the Muslim country visited the academy, girls were allowed to wear headscarves.
We shared our ideas with Luiza Muminjonova on topics of her interests, dreams, plans, the matter of girls acquiring knowledge and her leaving for abroad.