Moscow college student barred from exam after refusing to remove kippah

(JTA) – A Jewish student at Moscow State University was barred from taking an exam because he refused to remove his kippah.

Lev Boroda, a film student, has filed a complaint about the incident with the university administration.

He was asked by his geography professor, Vyacheslav Baburin, to remove his kippah or leave the auditorium where the exam was being administered. Boroda later found another professor willing to proctor him for the exam.

The incident was reported Tuesday by the SOVA Center, a Moscow-based nongovernmental organization and think tank that focuses on nationalism and racism.

Boroda also told SOVA about a prior incident in which the university’s gym teacher told him to “cross himself” and “get baptized” when he asked for permission to skip a class for Yom Kippur.

Sergei Dobrolyubov, the dean of the geography department, said the professor was following the university’s rules, which prohibit head coverings to be worn indoors on campus. He said that last year, Baburin ordered female Muslim students to remove their headscarves before exams.

“There are no complaints against Professor Baburin, he had the right to do as he did,” Dobrolyubov told the Moskva news agency on Tuesday.

Baburin defended his actions in an interview Wednesday on Kommersant-FM radio, the English-language Moscow Times reported.

“I don’t care who he is – a Jew, a Muslim, a Buddhist or a Sikh,” he said.

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