SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: September 01, 2018

Attack Types: Loss of Position

Institution(s):International Islamic Academy of Uzbekistan

Region & Country:Central Asia | Uzbekistan

New or Ongoing:New Incident

In September 2018, the International Islamic Academy of Uzbekistan (IIAU) reportedly expelled a student for refusing to take off her hijab.

On August 15, 2018, a law went into effect in Uzbekistan mandating secular dress in all educational institutions. One of the students, Luiza Muminjonova, explained that, under the new law, a sign was placed on the university entrance imposing a dress code on women: dark, below-the-knee skirts, and white jackets. She further stated that she and her colleagues had been given an ultimatum, requiring that she take off her hijab or face expulsion. She refused to comply and was expelled.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about expulsions of students based on the peaceful exercise of the right to religious expression on campus. Such actions diminish core higher education values including equitable access, and limit the overall functioning of the university space.