Excerpt:

The Kremlin has distanced itself from discussions on the problem of wearing Muslim religious headscarves (hijabs) in Russian schools and has said that it does not want to take sides in this issue.

"We would not like to became a party to this decision at the moment," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Russian Education and Science Minister Olga Vasilyeva said earlier that pupils of Russian schools should not demonstrate their faith by wearing certain religious items.

"I do not think that truly faithful people try to emphasize their attitude to faith by attributes. Our education system is secular," Vasilyeva said when commenting on a ban for pupils and teachers at a school in the village of Belozerye, Tatarstan, to wear headscarves. A similar situation occurred in the Stavropol Territory several years ago, the minister said.


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