By Vladislav Strnad, The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy
On 11th July, 2013, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation passed a law which states that in schools across the country it is now forbidden to wear the hijab, the veil traditionally worn by Muslim women. This is in suit of a similar situation in France, where the French government recently passed a law forbidding any display of religious symbols in all state schools.
In the fall of 2012, the director of one of the schools in Stavropol region banned Muslim pupils from wearing the hijab in school. The school’s Senior Management Team insisted that school-children wear civil clothes, because it is not a religious school. The parents of the girls were given two options; either they respect the school rules by therefore allowing their children not to wear the hijab, or they forfeit their place and teach their children at home. Only one of every six girl’s parents agreed and the others started with the home teaching, resulting in the issue being taken to court. At the federal level this case unfolded debate on the renewal of mandatory school uniforms.
Russian authorities spoke against the wearing of the hijab in schools and supported the reintroduction of school uniforms for students. They stressed that Russia is primarily a multinational state with many kinds of religion of its inhabitants and this must be taken into particular account. “It is better if everyone will feel equal,” President Putin added. 
According to recent surveys, more than half of Russians oppose a demonstration of religion in schools.
- http://www.1tv.ru/news/social/237111 http://www.dni.ru/society/2013/7/10/255904.html