Around 2,000 people marched through the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, on Sunday (Feb. 7) to protest against the new restrictions. The country’s high judicial council ordered the ban on the hijab and all “religious signs” from courts and other legal institutions, the BBC reported.
“The ban of wearing (the) hijab in judicial institutions is a serious attack against Muslim honor, personality and identity, a violation… aimed at depriving them of their right to work,” Samira Zunic Velagic, a protest leader, told the AFP news agency.
Muslims make up 45 percent of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s population, according to data from Pew Research Center. Christians account for an estimated 52 percent of the population; the majority of which are Orthodox.
During his trip to Sarajevo last year, Pope Francis urged Bosnians to promote interreligious dialogue, 20 years after the country was ravaged by war.
“Leaders across the world often talk of peace while they sell weapons and spread war. From you, the first generation of children born after war, I expect integrity and harmony between what you think and what you do,” he said. “Anything else is hypocrisy.”
(Rosie Scammell is a Rome-based RNS correspondent)