The new law requires citizens to “stick to traditional and national clothes,” which means either uncovered hair or a scarf tied behind the head, along with long dresses for women.
The law does not specifically outlaw the hijab, or variations of Islamic veils for women, but enforces a traditional Tajik dress code that a hijab would violate.
“It’s really dangerous,” Tajik Minister of Culture Shamsiddin Orumbekzoda told RFE. “Everyone looks at them with concern, like they could be hiding something under their hijab.”
Tajikistan joins a long list of countries that have banned face and head concealing Islamic dress to varying degrees. Belgium, France, and the Netherlands have bans on full-face Islamic veils, and Bulgaria, Austria, Germany, Latvia, and Kosovo also banned face-concealing Islamic veils. Four African countries — Cameroon, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, and Gabon — also banned face-concealing Islamic headwear.