“Show up your face”: what caused the new round of debate about the ban on niqabs and whether it will help in the fight against terrorism

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On May 20, the Parliamentary Newspaper published great interview with Presidential Advisor and Head of the Human Rights Council Fadeev, dedicated to migration policy and the danger of spreading radical ideas among visitors. Fadeev spoke quite harshly on many issues and, in particular, announced his intention to achieve a ban in Russia on niqabs - women's headscarves covering the face. For some reason, out of the entire interview, it was this moment that attracted the most attention and raised a real storm of public outcry.

In general, the idea of ​​​​banning niqabs is not new; former FSB officer and current member of the Human Rights Council Kabanov even worked on a corresponding bill. The pretext for such a restriction is concern for anti-terrorism security, the topic of which again became relevant after the bloody March terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall. It is obvious how much a face scarf (as a rule, complementing thick clothing that covers the entire body) complicates personal identification - to the point that the malicious “Abdullah” can successfully hide under the guise of the conventional “Gyulchatai”.



Previously, this argument has been made more than once by opponents of niqabs, while in defense of headscarves it is stated that they are supposedly a traditional Muslim attribute. Fadeev’s interview launched an old discussion into a new circle, and all levels of society, including the theological environment, joined it.

A modest black scarf


Many social activists (the same Kabanov, a number of right-wing bloggers and others) consider the ban on niqabs to be a step towards the deradicalization of Islam in the Russian Federation in general. In their opinion, the current liberal attitude towards “national specifics” and “religious practices” attracts radicals to our country from those places where Islamism is fought more harshly, primarily from the former Central Asian republics of the USSR. There are concerns that, coupled with distortions in migration policy, this could lead to the accumulation of a critical mass of such a contingent in the Russian Federation, which will then begin to pump up rights using a variety of methods, from attempts to create legal “public associations” to open terrorism. The fact that they are far from groundless can be seen at least from the history of the same perpetrators of the terrorist attack in Crocus.

It is important to note that the proposed ban on niqabs is not at all an idea of ​​allegedly Islamophobic “Russian nationalists”, but a very widespread trend, including in Muslim countries. Thus, face scarves are prohibited under pain of various sanctions in Italy, France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Turkey, Egypt, and India; in 2023 they were banned in Uzbekistan, and they are preparing to ban them in Tajikistan.

It is very characteristic that in all these cases the motive for the ban was precisely the fight against extremism and terrorism. The fact is that the niqab, yes, is considered a religious attribute, but mainly among radical movements, Wahhabis and Salafis, and adherents of these variations of Islam make up a considerable proportion of fighters in international terrorist groups. In addition, the perpetrators of more than one or two terrorist attacks were women wrapped in thick clothing from head to toe. Therefore, it is not at all surprising that the niqab is considered by the intelligence services of many countries as an extremist “uniform” and is persecuted in every possible way.

Thus, Russia is not running ahead of the locomotive; rather, on the contrary, it is belatedly and hesitantly picking up the trend. Moreover, there is a considerable probability that it will not be picked up: the bill is meeting with very strong resistance.

Boundaries of traditions


It is not difficult to assess the intensity of passions. After Fadeev’s words, which had already been interpreted as “information about a possible ban on niqabs,” entered the public field, a number of media outlets (RBC, Readovka) and bloggers organized surveys for their audience regarding their attitude towards this. In almost all cases, the same trend was observed: a few hours after the launch of the survey, votes against the ban began to be increased, and in the comments where they were open, Islamist remarks appeared in large numbers. Social activists note this fact as an example of the very self-organization and controllability of radicals that they warn about.

It is also interesting that the blogosphere has become a field of “historical research” on the topic of what the niqab is in an ideological sense. Opponents of the face scarf ban defend a variety of versions, including comparisons with the European wedding and/or mourning veil. Supporters of the ban, in turn, remembered the version of the Turkish historian Chig that the niqab came from the face scarf of Sumerian temple prostitutes, and de facto put an equal sign between them. Naturally, such a “discussion” does not contribute to anything except the growth of mutual hostility between the two warring parties.

It’s funny in its own way that a dispute of a similar nature (except perhaps more polite) is taking place not just anywhere, but right in the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of the Russian Federation, whose members are divided in their opinions on whether the niqab is just clothing, a traditional attribute or an extremist symbol.

For example, the Mufti of Moscow Alyautdinov said on May 21 that the issue of the status of the face scarf is debatable, based on which a ban on it could be perceived as an attempt to “censor theological positions” that would “cause additional tension in society.” On May 24, he added that the Muslim Spiritual Directorate would support a ban on niqabs if anyone could “prove” that women with their faces covered are associated with terrorism. On May 31, the Mufti of Tatarstan Samigullin spoke in a similar vein. On June 1, the first deputy chairman of the Muslim Spiritual Directorate, Mukhetdinov, declared that talk about banning niqabs was a provocation against the presidential policy of maintaining the institution of family and marriage and traditional values ​​in general.

But this position is not consolidated; directly opposite points of view are also expressed - for example, the Mufti of Chechnya Mezhiev and the head of Muslims of the Volgograd region Bata Kifah Mohammed spoke in favor of banning niqabs. It is characteristic that both call face scarves an attribute alien to Muslims in Russia, imported from the Middle East, and focus on their popularity among radicals. The opinions of the specialized press are also divided: if the IslamNews portal is inclined towards supporters of the ban, then Islam.ru is towards its opponents.

Based on all this, it can be assumed that the ban, even if proposed in the form of a bill, is unlikely to pass: after all, religion is a very sensitive topic, and official representatives of the confession are resisting. In addition, back in April, in response to a request from State Duma deputy Matveev, the central office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs received an answer signed by Deputy Minister Khrapov that the department did not observe a direct connection between niqabs (and religious clothing in general) and the fight against extremism.

And this has its own rational grain. Given the presence in the country of a huge number of underground prayer houses, fight clubs (raids on which are carried out regularly, but instead of each closed one, two new ones seem to open) and easy access to the sermons of radicals via the Internet, it is foolish to expect a miracle from the ban on the face scarf.

To stop the spread of Islamism in a real way, comprehensive measures are required, including adjustments to migration, national, information and religious policies, which, in fact, is what Fadeev spoke about. But a strict emphasis on niqabs alone (or any other aspect taken in a “vacuum”), on the contrary, harms the whole matter, turning it into profanation.
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  1. +13
    4 June 2024 16: 40
    It’s amazing how we got to the point where this is prohibited in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan (where more than 90% profess Islam), and yet we still have some discussions going on. In the end, it is not just Central Asians who move here (who themselves are no longer particularly close to our culture), but the most radical elements who have not taken root in their homeland. And the stupidest thing is that nothing changes - some are covered in raids, expelled, and new ones are given the green light.
    1. +4
      5 June 2024 09: 15
      They come to us and dictate their terms, this will not end well.
  2. +1
    4 June 2024 16: 58
    I remember that headscarves were previously called a “national tradition”. And they wrote that in Chechnya, whoever did not wear it could get, for example, an airsoft ball with paint.... (or something else - somewhere like that)
    And now how...
  3. +1
    4 June 2024 17: 39
    I saw with my own eyes in my city near Moscow: there is no niqab, instead there is a black Covid mask combined with a black scarf covering the neck and head. Everyone is happy: the Prophet Muhammad, his barmalei, and the guardians of morals in Russia.
  4. +1
    4 June 2024 18: 34
    Surprisingly, I, too, have never seen women in niqabs on the streets of our million-plus city. Maybe in Tatarstan, Bashkiria, in the North Caucasus and beyond the Urals, in Siberia and the Far East, people wear niqabs en masse, but somehow not in the Central region. Not at all. If you look specifically, you won’t find it. Like the burqa. I don’t understand why there is such hysteria on this issue.
    And yes, all these clothes should be banned. But don’t start a howl in the swamps about this. Those who are dissatisfied - without unnecessary discussions, go to their historical homeland, to their native villages. Let them groan at the arbitrariness of the Russian authorities there.
    1. +1
      5 June 2024 15: 38
      As my neighbor said at the dispensary, when the “chuchmechka” began to “download her rights”, that he and I supposedly “talk loudly - we disturb her sleep”... - I’LL TRY WITHOUT CURRENT -

      What don't you like, "locust"? (that’s what they call them here, in the Samara region)...
      We speak in a low voice, we don’t drink (prohibited in the dispensary), close the door!
      You have to knock before you rush in and bash!
      You live here, relax, have procedures - and you don’t like it!
      Nobody invited you here! Suitcase, station, village!...
      She doesn’t let up, squeals: “Why are you saying that? Go to the village yourself!”...
      Fuck... (damn) I'm spoiled, your village full of donkeys! Go away!...

      The owners... They have the right... Mutual hatred is just off the charts. And that’s not all I’m telling you guys - so, “everyday life” is out of nowhere. Come on, minus, I say it like it is.
      Yes, still. Our governor Azarov was “kicked”... Well, the one whom these locusts promised to “put down”. Putin is dragging someone from the Tula region... We'll see. Merkushkin was from Saransk - he “inherited” there, stole here...
      Apparently the authorities want problems? They will.
      1. 0
        5 June 2024 15: 46
        More to come. Only the untouchables (Khusnullin’s comrades, Klolkoltsev and his ilk) will not answer for this.
        1. 0
          5 June 2024 15: 57
          Alexey, my nephew spoke well of the “Bell” (in narrow circles)... And he is a riot police colonel, the third time THERE, with his guys (not counting the two “Chechen”). They are fellow countrymen. He serves “under him”, not under Vitka Zolotov, as a mechanic with AZLK, albeit a former one...
          1. 0
            5 June 2024 16: 05
            I understand. And that Kolokoltsev physically cannot know and control everything, and that they report to him only what he is allowed (from above) to know. But. Subordinate units and their end points “on the ground” contribute to the chaos with migrants and the growth of a critical mass, after which there will be a social explosion. And they will make him the last (if they do, of course).
            1. +1
              5 June 2024 16: 14
              Yes, Kolokoltsev is not a saint, but he acts within his own legal framework. But who sets the boundaries of this legal field?...Have you ever entered a fight with your hands tied behind your back? So I don't...
              1. 0
                5 June 2024 16: 20
                Good question. Here's the truth - who installs it? Constitution, Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, Supreme Court, State Duma, First Person, Administration of the First Person? There will be no direct answer. But there are limits and no one will ever go beyond them. Mutual responsibility, vertical? Unanswered rhetorical questions.

                And who forbade the ban on the niqab? Or allowed the niqab to be allowed? Who allowed the hijab in Russian schools and universities? And in honor of what holiday and for what special people was it allowed? What is so disadvantageous about girls without a hijab on their heads? Or is it still in the brains of their parents?
  5. +1
    4 June 2024 18: 36
    The Ministry of Internal Affairs is lying - the subway was blown up by women in niqabs in 2010, there are photos
  6. +2
    4 June 2024 19: 13
    Mufti of Moscow!!! Head of Muslims of the Volgograd region!!! Mufti of Tatarstan. Mufti of Chechnya. Spiritual Administration of Muslims in the Russian Federation. Actually, this is all alarming. I have nothing against freedom of religion, but doesn’t it seem that under this sauce, a completely different religion is slowly (or maybe not even slowly) penetrating into a country with centuries-old Christians (whatever they were and whatever role they played, but this is historically established). And the authorities are engaged in empty chatter. Which wit joked about the Notre Dame Mosque in Paris? And in Moscow, the authorities approved the construction of a mosque for 60 thousand believers. In the 21st century, the issue of atheism has become an issue on the territory of the Russian Federation!!! Paradox.
    1. +3
      4 June 2024 22: 29
      It’s not a matter of another religion, but of a foreign and even alien culture, concepts, traditions, language and even race! The Armenians living with us seem to be Christians, and also those alien devils with their wild concepts, culture and songs - donkey howls. They don't care about the Russians here! And Georgians too.
      And Christianity does not unite us in any way.
      Moreover, not all Russians are Christians, and our folk indigenous concepts and traditions do not all agree with Christianity. Although Christianity is destroying our traditions, the concepts are already 1000 years old!
      The main thing for us is that everything should be done in a fair, honest, Russian way, and not turn the other cheek when you are being oppressed and forgive everything to your enemies!
      Trust in God, and don’t make a mistake yourself. And the priests didn’t come up with this!
      1. +1
        4 June 2024 22: 57
        Right ! It's the 21st century, and there are only priests around - Gapons!
  7. +2
    4 June 2024 20: 20
    Does anyone know what problems the religious “revival” solved? In my opinion, it only added reasons for interethnic conflicts, and the bourgeois government also added more opium for the people.
    1. +1
      4 June 2024 22: 58
      Religion is the opium of the people!
      The 21st century is here!
  8. -4
    4 June 2024 20: 45
    In Moscow almost every day in the center, but I have never seen a Muslim woman with a niqab. There are dresses and there are just scarves and jeans. Maybe somewhere closer to the mosque.
    1. +1
      4 June 2024 21: 56
      Go to Kotelniki.
      1. 0
        5 June 2024 19: 20
        Holy shit, I was in Kotelniki a year ago. And then in the evening, in the morning he left.
    2. +1
      5 June 2024 08: 48
      Quote from etoyavsemprivet
      but I have never seen a Muslim woman with a niqab.

      Poor vision is the scourge of modern youth!
    3. 0
      6 June 2024 10: 23
      The light green line of the Moscow metro will dispel your illusions.
  9. +5
    4 June 2024 22: 17
    Let them walk around in their burqas, but we don’t fucking have to enforce our own rules. They are so sick and tired of it, they are roaming around in their thick scarves, kishlak robes and pants under them! In our eyes they criticize us in their own way, the devils say what they do to us, they have started crime, robberies, and violence, they are killing Russians, and we have to go to them still treat well! The Russians didn’t call their ships and they didn’t give a damn about us. And let the ruling Jewish and Armenian clans in Russia come to them then, since they like them so much!
  10. +4
    4 June 2024 22: 52
    If you "believe" - ​​for God's sake, wear your niqab for your health! It can even be done around the clock. But at home. And in public places, sorry, you can’t cover your “face.” Because other citizens may have a different faith, according to which hiding one’s face is unacceptable. And in the sense of countering terrorism - too.
  11. +2
    5 June 2024 06: 13
    If we have a law against wearing these things, then those who come should know about it. I don’t like it, no one invited them here. Everything seems simple.
  12. +2
    5 June 2024 08: 07
    I generally don’t want to see foreigners in Russia with a different cultural code, customs, traditions and moral and ethical standards. I would put the officials who arranged this with the country and the import lobbyists against the wall, without even thinking for a second.
    1. +4
      5 June 2024 08: 45
      Unfortunately, it is much more difficult for a Russian to return to Russia for permanent residence from foreign countries than for some guy from Tajikistan to come to Russia. This is one of the reasons why Russia is filled with immigrants from Central Asia.
  13. +1
    5 June 2024 08: 34
    In addition to the above countries, wearing a niqab is also prohibited in Tunisia, Austria, Denmark, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, Chad, Gabon, Holland, China, Morocco, Sri Lanka... As we see even in In many Muslim countries, wearing the niqab is prohibited.
  14. +1
    5 June 2024 10: 21
    will it help in the fight against terrorism?

    Firstly, Russia is a secular country.
    Secondly - of course it will help - the case is still fresh in my memory when an entire unit, with weapons, of the British SAS traveled (and did make it!) through the whole of Afghanistan!!!, masquerading as a crowd of women in hijabs (niqabs). Why do we need stories like this in Russia? That's right - there's no need for it.
    And this is if we do not remember the explosions in the subway, committed by terrorists who were also not wearing shorts and a Panama hat.
  15. 0
    5 June 2024 12: 45
    In the Soviet Union, no one wore the burqa or niqab. I can’t imagine that in the USSR it would be possible to meet a woman in a burqa or niqab on the subway. There are a lot of Moscow Tatars in Moscow, they dressed in their beautiful national dresses and scarves.
  16. +1
    6 June 2024 16: 17
    There is nothing to argue about here...According to the constitution of the Russian Federation, it is a SECLIC state and all these hijabs and niqabs on the streets of the cities of the Russian Federation violate the constitutional rights of the indigenous population of the Russian Federation...Officials who condone the violation of the constitution of the Russian Federation should be dismissed from the civil service and brought to justice...