The Position of the Leadreship of the Islamic Religious Community in Yugoslavia Regarding Prohibition of Veil (Zar and Feredja)

  • Fikret Karčić, dr.
Keywords: zar, feredža, Islamska zajednica, Bosna i Hercegovina


In this article the author study political action for the abolishment of traditional Muslim women’s dress -veil- (known as zar and feredja) in Yugoslavia during the period 1947-1950 and the position taken by the leadership of the Islamic Religious Community (IVZ) regarding this action. The action was initiated and carried out by the Antifascist Front of Women (AFŽ), a grass root organization under the control of the Communist Party devoted to the eman- cipation of women. The leadership of the IVZ by the means of its resolutions and statements supported the abolishment of veil arguing that the covering of the face of Muslim women is not religious imperative but customary practice. To this effect the head of the IVZ- rais al-ulama- cited the fatwa of the University of Al-Azhar issued in 1937. Since the political action for the removal of veil was not successful the parliament of the Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1950 adopted a law on the prohibition of zar and feredja. The leadership of the IVZ supported this law. The role of the Islamic Community was to legi- timize positions and measures taken by the institutions of the Socialist state.