Litigation "Hijab against MIA"

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About thousand of Ukrainian Muslim women consider that the order of the Minister of Internal Affairs restrains their civil law on the freedom of creed. The right guaranteed by the Constitution of Ukraine.
11/02/2010
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"Observer", 3.02.2010

Hijab is the traditional Islamic female scarf which does not cover female face became the reason of the conflict of the Ukrainian Muslims and the authorities.

Devout Muslim women start to wear hijab from 15-16 years on. The citizen of Ukraine Susanna Ismailova, the ethnic Crimean Tatar, since the childhood honors traditions of Islam and adheres to religious doctrines. When the girl received her passport for the first time and submitted a photo with her scarf on, there were no questions: the document was issued without any problems in Dzhankoysky department of passport service.

When Ismailova turned 25 and addressed to the passport service to paste a new photo according to the standard order, police officers categorically refused her. They motivated it that there was a new order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs "About an order of registration and delivery of the passport of the citizen of Ukraine" from 2006, signed by the minister Lutsenko. According to it one should be photographed on documents without a headdress.

Susanna Ismailova brought an action against the Ukrainian militia. The unprecedented claim in domestic legal proceedings was already named "case of hijab". On the side of the claimant acted about a thousand of Ukrainian Muslim women considering that the order of the Minister of Internal Affairs which is, as a matter of fact, the internal instruction, restrains their civil law on the freedom of creed. The right guaranteed by the Constitution of Ukraine.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs in its turn decided to enclose the official answer in lips of the inspector of management of legal maintenance Nikolay Grintsov who represents the department in the court. The police officer declared, "Any lawful bases specifying infringement of the rights of people, in the Ministry of Internal Affairs are not seen. In the order it is accurately emphasized that one should be photographed for the document without a headdress".

The lawyer of Ismailova Enver Umerov considers that by signing the order, Lutsenko crossed out the article of the Constitution about a freedom of worship and basic requirements of the Quran. And even understanding the error, the militia management tries to keep a good mine at bad game and insists on its correctness.

Though it is necessary to note, that subordinates of the minister who signed this document, as testifies the practice, execute the order not every time. Photos with hijab on are accepted both for a passport, and for a driving license. Everything depends on how you will agree with a particular employee of management on affairs on citizenship, immigration and registration of physical bodies …

By the way, in the embassies of foreign countries, including European, at registration of visas there are usually no such problems. There is a rule: if you constantly wear a headdress, make a photograph with it on. Olga Frindak, the manager on public relations of the Muslim Association "Аlraid" recollects that the last time such a misunderstanding took place in the embassy of the USA.

The American embassy lodge claims to all people photographed with "special" signs (and not just to Muslims in scarves, as in our story). Scandal burst, when the diplomatic representatives of the USA refused in issuing of visa to Russian Diana Gurtskya. Employees of the embassy did not like degree of blackout of glasses of the known singer. Reaction of representatives of Gurtskaya was very rigid. As a result the embassy recognized infringement of human rights, sent the letter with apologies and added that thanks to the Russian singer, rules of consideration of documents were changed.

The director of the department of the State Committee of Ukraine on affairs of nationalities and religions Vladimir Lubchik is sure that the arguments of the Ministry of Internal Affairs which sounded in the court are unpersuasive, after all the national legislation, in difference of departmental, does not forbid a person to wear hijab both in partial, and in a full kind. Though not for sure the Ministry of Internal Affairs will agree with opinion of the court, and in the next upholding of "official authority", will not start long-term appeals.

In any case litigation case "higjab against MIA" is useful in its essence. All of us, irrespective of nationality and belief are obliged to force the state to respect. Otherwise, we should forget either concept the citizen, or the term of the state.

(Given with minor alterations and reductions)

Article original on a web-site of "Observer"

Related publications in Ukrainian Media:

Female Happiness According to Quran ("Timer")

How Live in Flashpoints Ukrainian Wives of Muslims. Article in the Newspaper "Today"

El Sabi, Ukrainian, refugee from Gaza: There is no Life either in Gaza, or in Ukraine (Newspaper 24)

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