Hijab Protests in Azerbaijan
The number of protests in Azerbaijan for the freedom to wear the hijab is growing, as are the questions surrounding those demonstrations—like who is behind them? The hijab, or headscarf, was banned in public schools by the Ministry of Education in 2010, and protests against the ban became violent in October, 2012. Some protestors were armed with wooden polls, and Azerbaijani police say dozens were detained after resisting arrest. Critics of the regime are suspicious, however, and accuse the government of using the hijab controversy to manipulate Western governments’ fear that a radical Islamic state will emerge if democratic change comes to Azerbaijan.