Excerpt:

President Vladimir Putin spoke out Thursday against the wearing of headscarves in Russian schools in his first public comment on a potentially explosive issue.

Putin's statement follows a recent incident in Russia's southern region of Stavropol during which a school principal forbade girls from Muslim families from wearing headscarves to class. Their parents protested and the principal said she was threatened.

Asked to comment on the issue, Putin clearly voiced his opposition to headscarves at schools, saying that Russia is a secular state and must create equal conditions for all its citizens.


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