Thursday, July 2, 2020

Female Muslim students in Nigeria’s Lagos state allowed to wear hijab to school

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Mohammed Awal Mohammed
Awal Mohammed is a Ghanaian journalist who specializes in political reporting in Africa.
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Female Muslim pupils in Lagos state in Nigeria can now put on Hijab to public schools without fear.

It follows an approval by the state’s government.

In October 2014, a Lagos High Court ruled against the use of hijabs in schools. But the judgement was quashed by an Appeals court in July 2016.

Daily Trust in Nigeria reports that in a unanimous judgment, the Appeals court held that the ban was discriminatory against Muslim pupils in the state.

In a circular the State’s government said the hijab must be “short, smart, neat and in the same colour of the uniform (skirt).”

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It warned that no student should be discriminated against in any form on the basis of religion.

The circular added that “all principals and teachers must be sensitized to comply accordingly. You are enjoined to adhere strictly to these recommendations.”

The announcement by the State’s government was to “avoid contempt of the court” as the case of the use of Hijab in Lagos State is “still pending in the Supreme Court of Nigeria”

Towing the path of honour

Reacting to the announcement, Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) in a statement by Saheed Ashafa, its amir in Lagos, said the state government has towed the path of honour, reports Daily Trust.

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He said the circular would help to stop the “harassment and victimisation of female Muslim students for wearing hijab.”

Meanwhile, officials of a school in Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo State shutdown the school after some students came to class wearing hijab on Monday.

The International School of Ibadan which is owned by the University of Ibadan does not allow for the wearing of hijab.

Punch reports that some parents, under a group called the International School Muslim Parents’ Forum wrote to management of the school demanding that female students be allowed to wear their hijab to school.

The forum in a letter said it is “putting the schools’ management on notice on the rights of our female children to commence the use of hijab from this academic session of 2018/2019.”

The forum argued that “Hijab-wearing for young Muslim girls, apart from the fact that it is part of their religious belief, is part of their God-given fundamental human right as well as in line with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

The school was shutdown after some hijab-wearing students entered the school premises on Monday on the back of the demands of the forum.

This year a law student from the University of Ilorin asked to take her hijab off. Her refusal means she missed out on being called to bar.

She was months later allowed to graduate wearing his hijab after several advocacy and agitations.

 

Source: Africafeeds.com

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