22:22 GMT +3 hours27 November 2014
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Scarf-Covered Muslim Girls Banned from Stavropol Schools

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Several Muslim families from the Neftekumsk district of Stavropol in southern Russia complained to the muftiat saying that their daughters were not allowed to attend school wearing headscarves, a spokesperson of the regional muftiat said on Monday.

Several Muslim families from the Neftekumsk district of Stavropol in southern Russia complained to the muftiat saying that their daughters were not allowed to attend school wearing headscarves, a spokesperson of the regional muftiat said on Monday.

“In a heavily Muslim district girls are not allowed to attend schools in headscarves. Parents of the Muslim girls do not let the girls attend schools without scarves,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

The muftiat is concerned about the girls' academic performance and is worried that the weakness in the school program will lead the custodial agency to intervene. The girls have not been allowed at school for two weeks, although in September they were able to attend classes without any problems.

“The parents emphasize that in general teachers do not discriminate the girls on their religion. But they are following the instructions of higher authorities,” the spokesman said.

The muftiat says this was the sixth group of parents who had addressed them with such a complaint. Residents of the Arzgirsk and Step districts filed the same complaint.

“I would like to speak about the shortsightedness of our officials who demonstrate religious intolerance. For example, about 3,000 people, mostly Muslims, mostly ethnic Nogais and Dagestanis live in the village of Karatub,” the statement said.

Mufti of Stavropol Muhammad Rakhimov addressed the heads of districts, the governor and prosecutor of the Stavropol to help resolve the situation.

Deputy head of Neftekumsk district Ilona Vasyuk told RIA Novosti that the Prosecutor's Office is currently checking the parents’ complaints.