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Niqab ban in Dagestan after synagogue and church attacks

The Dagestan province in Russia has imposed a temporary ban on the wearing of niqabs, following a series of terror attacks on Jewish and Orthodox Christian houses of worship.

News Arena Network - Moscow - UPDATED: July 4, 2024, 09:43 AM - 3 mins read

Dagestan (Russia) Temporarily Bans Niqabs After Terror Attacks.

Niqab ban in Dagestan after synagogue and church attacks

Dagestan (Russia) Temporarily Bans Niqabs After Terror Attacks.


The Dagestan province in Russia has imposed a temporary ban on the wearing of niqabs, following a series of terror attacks on Jewish and Orthodox Christian houses of worship.

 

The niqab, a full-face veil with an opening for the eyes, is now forbidden "until the identified threats are eliminated" and the religious authorities arrive at "a new theological conclusion." This decision was announced by the muftiate, the administrative body responsible for issuing religious rules in the republic.

 

The ban follows a series of attacks on synagogues and Orthodox churches in Makhachkala and Derbent, resulting in the deaths of 22 people and injuring many others.

 

Dagestan's authorities attributed the attacks to "international terrorist organisations" but did not specify which groups were responsible. Reports suggest that one of the five attackers planned to escape wearing a niqab as a disguise, prompting the temporary ban.

 

Dagestan’s governor, Sergei Melikov, called the niqab a 'security risk'. The region, predominantly Muslim, has a history of Islamic insurgency. The niqab ban has sparked various reactions from prominent figures in Russia.

 

Alexander Bastrykin, head of Russia’s Investigative Committee, suggested a blanket ban on the niqab after the attacks. However, Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of Chechnya, cautioned against such measures, stating that one should not confuse religions with the actions of extremists. He emphasised that these "fanatics" have no connection to the holy scriptures.

 

In June, Russian law enforcement identified five attackers behind the violence in Derbent and Makhachkala. These attacks led to the deaths of at least 15 police officers and four civilians, including an Orthodox priest.

 

Some attackers were from the Sergo Kalinsky district, located between Derbent and Makhachkala, and had connections to the district’s head. Notably, former MMA fighter Gadzhimurad Kagirov, a cousin of the district head, Magomed Omarov, was involved in the violence in Derbent. Relatives of Omarov, including his son and nephew, also participated in the attacks.

 

These attacks are part of a disturbing trend of rising Islamic extremism in Russia. Earlier this year, a terrorist group stormed a concert hall near Moscow, killing 145 people in an attack claimed by the Islamic State.

 

These incidents have highlighted the growing threat of extremism in Russia, posing a significant challenge for President Vladimir Putin, who is also dealing with the ongoing war in Ukraine.

 

The temporary ban on niqabs in Dagestan underscores the heightened security measures being implemented in response to these threats. While the move aims to prevent further attacks and enhance public safety, it has also sparked debate about religious freedom and the potential for such measures to alienate the Muslim community. The situation remains tense as authorities continue their efforts to address the security concerns and bring stability to the region.

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