MOSCOW (AP) -- A court in the Russian region of Tatarstan has ruled against three Muslim women who demanded the right to wear religious headscarves for official identification photos, a news agency reported.
The case is believed to be the first of its kind in Russia, which is predominantly Orthodox Christian. Muslims comprise the second-largest religious group.
The three women had argued that the rule imposed by the Interior Ministry of Tatarstan banning headscarves went against Islam, Interfax news agency reported.
The women said a passport photo without a head covering could lead officials to ask a Muslim woman to take off her scarf in public for identification purposes, shaming her. Islamic women must be modestly dressed and most Muslim societies require women to cover their heads in public.
The women plan to appeal to a higher court.
In Tatarstan, a large portion of the population is Muslim, and an increasing number of ethnic Tatars have begun practicing Islam again in the decade since the collapse of the officially atheist Soviet Union.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.