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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kadyrov Orders Women to Wear Headscarves

GROZNY -- Female civil servants must wear Islamic headscarves or be fired, Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov said this week.

Federal law separates the state from religion and gives both sexes equal rights. But Kadyrov, who this year made a pilgrimage to Muslim holy sites in Saudi Arabia, said Chechnya had different traditions.

"I know everyone will say, 'Ramzan is declaring sharia law.' But I will reply that I am a Muslim, I respect Chechen traditions, and I am proud of this," Kadyrov, 30, said at a meeting of local officials Tuesday.

"I repeat once again: Women must either wear headscarves or they should not work" for state institutions, he said. "You may say I am making unlawful statements, but I will not back down."

Kadyrov said he had been "literally shocked, seeing our young women walking around in T-shirts and miniskirts in our city" of Grozny.

Kadyrov said women were the root of all crime committed in Chechnya because they were inviting men to have sex with them.

Families often declare blood feuds on men they believed have dishonored their daughters, and in some cases they also kill their daughter for bringing shame on the family.