The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) Lagos State Area Unit has urged Lagos state government to issue a circular approving the use of hijab in Lagos schools.
This followed a Friday, June 17 judgement delivered by the Supreme Court allowing use of hijab in schools.
The students, at a briefing Wednesday in Alausa, urged the government to caution its officials against harassing Muslim students wearing the hijab
MSSN Lagos State Area Unit Amir (president), Miftahudeen Thanni, explained that issuing the circular would curb “overzealous” teachers and principals from contempt of the court.
He said: “This is not to castigate the Lagos state government but to appeal for the prompt implementation of the Supreme Court judgement. We waited patiently for almost a decade to get the judgement and we were lawful throughout. During this period, we consulted, collaborated, protested, held rallies and sensitised government officials on why a willing Muslim female should be allowed to put on the hijab.
“The last time the state government issued the circular, we thought relief had come, some school principals, vice-principals and teachers feign ignorance of the approval of Hijab in Lagos State, and continuing harassing our members. For no reason should a girl-child be denied education again in Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole!
“The images of Muslim students sent out of the examination hall for wearing hijab touch the heart and consistently bring tears to the eyes. We do not want this to recur. The education of the girl-child is very paramount in our hearts. No Muslim girl should ever be told to choose between her faith and education. Both are her rights.”
On her part, Asiyat AbdulKareem, who sued the Lagos state government, said the victimisation of Muslim students should stop.
“We suffered to get this judgement and it is my hope that it will be an end to the victimisation someone like me suffered,” he said.
National Amir of MSSN, Uthman Abubakar, lamented that Muslim students have for long suffered discrimination.
Abubakar, who was represented by the General Secretary of MSSN Lagos, Hamzah AbdulFattah, said, “The MSSN salutes the courage, understanding and application of the Constitutional law as it is by the panel of the justices. The judgment is manifestly credible and guarantees as one of the fundamental Human Rights granted to Muslims and any other adherents of a religion.” he said.
Ameerah (female head) of MSSN Lagos State Area Unit, Basheerah Majekodunmi, called on Muslims to be lawful and report any violation to the appropriate quarters.
“We call on all Nigerians, irrespective of tribe or religion to join this voice as part of solidarity with the Muslim women most especially the female secondary school students, who are brazenly and incessantly harassed and assaulted because they wear hijab to schools in their own country,” she said.
On her part, Executive Secretary of Hijab Rights Advocacy Initiative, Shereefat Enessi, commended the Supreme Court for the judgement.
“It is not a victory for the Muslims alone, it is a victory for civilization, for democracy and for peace. We are not all Muslims and as such understanding, the importance of a religious command like hijab may not be easy, but at least we are all in the same boat that is Nigeria, pulling each other down would only take us all down,” he said.