niqab copenhagen
© APFILE: Women in the niqab walk in front of the Danish Parliament at Christiansborg Castle, in Copenhagen. The measure would violate citizens' rights and freedom of religion, the cabinet explained.
The Russian government has rejected an initiative to ban the niqab, a traditional Muslim veil that covers the entire face apart from the eyes, Kommersant reported on Monday, citing a cabinet document.

Last week, the head of Russia's Human Rights Council, Valery Fadeev, suggested the government should consider a ban on niqabs, citing the risk of extremism. His call came almost two months after the deadly terrorist attack at the Crocus City Hall concert venue outside Moscow, in which 145 people died and over 500 were injured. The suspected perpetrators are citizens of Tajikistan, a majority-Muslim former Soviet republic in Central Asia.

Comment: Citing Crocus as a reason would be erroneous considering that these terrorists were, as is usually the case, stooges working for the West-Ukraine: US, UK and Ukraine could be behind Moscow terror attack - FSB chief

Banning the garment could violate secular rights and freedom of religion, which are guaranteed to all citizens of Russia by the constitution, according to the document cited by Kommersant. The cabinet was responding to questions submitted by Russian MPs to Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

Government officials have also dismissed the idea of mandating that ethnicity be indicated in citizens' internal passports. Identity documents issued by the Soviet Union listed a citizen's 'nationality', which was understood to mean ethnic origin. This practice was canceled after the collapse of the USSR in 1991; the new constitution didn't require citizens to specify their background.

Addressing questions from Russia's Communist Party related to illegal migration and ethnic crimes, the government said it is planning to develop a so-called digital profile for foreign citizens in order to track migration.

Fadeev's proposal met with a mixed response. The head of the State Duma's Labor Committee, Yaroslav Nilov, said that any such measures should be discussed behind closed doors with representatives of Muslim groups and local authorities, without widespread media coverage.

Moscow's chief mufti, Ildar Alyautdinov, warned that banning the niqab could cause discontent among Muslims in Russia and lead to new unrest.

Alyautdinov told RIA Novosti last week that the Russian Muslim community would support the niqab ban only if law enforcement officials were able to prove a direct connection between wearing the niqab and the growing risk of extremism.

Earlier this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia is a "multinational and multi-religious country" that treats everyone with respect, emphasizing that some "190 ethnic groups live in the country," some of which include "millions of people."