This file photo shows Azeris staging a protest against the government's banning of Islamic Hijab at high schools.
Political and social activists in Azerbaijan have condemned the recent measure by Azerbaijan State Oil Academy (ASOA) to prevent a student from entering the campus for wearing Hijab.
Religious expert Haj Zolfaqar Mikaeilzadeh warned that the illegal Hijab ban currently enforced at high schools is now extending to the universities.
Mikaeilzadeh noted that the officials’ justification for the ban at schools was that parents may force underage students to wear Hijab.
‘How can the officials justify the new ban that is extended to the university students, teachers, etc.?’ the expert questioned.
Leader of Azerbaijan Green Party Mais Gul Aliev argued that barring a student with Hijab from entering the university is “illegal” and called for an end to such measures, which run counter to Azerbaijan’s constitution.
In December 2010, the government imposed a ban on Hijab in schools across the Muslim-majority country.
Several pro-Hijab activists have since been arrested during protests against the ban.
In January 2011, Baku attempted to undermine the pro-Hijab movement in the country by rounding up Muslim activists and pressing unsubstantiated charges against them.
Around 98 percent of the population of Azerbaijan is Muslim and a ban on the Islamic dress code is not mentioned in the country's constitution.
Muslim communities in Azerbaijan blame the growing secularism in the country on Tel Aviv and accuse Israel of being behind the anti-Islamic programs.