The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos State Area Unit, has warned school principals and teachers against victimisation and discrimination of Muslim students, describing it as a fight against morality and public approval of indecency among young people.
Amirah (female president) of MSSN in Lagos State, Basheerah Majekodunmi, gave the warning while speaking with journalists on 2022 World Hijab Day.
She urged the Lagos State government to issue circular reminding school administrators of the court’s ruling, which allows Muslim students to use hijab in schools.
She explained that many principals, teachers and school administrators are causing crises in schools under the guise that they did not receive the earlier issued circular during Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration.
“Ignorance is no excuse before the law. These teachers and principals, who either feign ignorance or turn deaf ears to justice and morality have made it difficult for students to use their hijab as prescribed by their creator.
“It is high time the Lagos State Government issued another circular that will be well-publicised. We want peace in Lagos State. We don’t want crisis. Some principals and teachers are acting unlawfully and in a manner that could cause outrage,” she stated.
Majekodunmi also acknowledged efforts of the state government in providing quality education for the students but warned that continuous victimisation of students may sabotage the effort.
“The picture of Governor Sanwo-Olu sitting with a hijab-wearing student is a clear contrast of the injustice meted on some students who choose to wear hijab in other schools,” she added.
She lamented the case of two female Muslim students of Igboye Community High School, Igboye, Epe, who were made to stand in the sun while their mates were writing examination, stating that MSSN Lagos will continue to take such cases up until the Supreme Court’s verdict.
Majekodunmi, therefore, advised students to aspire to be great no matter the challenges and speak out when they experience any form of molestation or victimisation.
The 2022 World Hijab Day which is themed Hijab is our Crown, not A Crime is organised across the world as a reiteration of the disapproval of continuous harassment of females in schools and workplaces also to put an end to such practices.
Meanwhile, a coalition of women group, under the aegis of Hijab Rights Advocacy Initiative, called on the Federal Government, National Assembly, State Houses of Assembly, the judiciary and all regulatory authorities to ensure that hijab-wearing Muslim females were not harassed and discriminated against.
The coordinator and Director of Hijab Rights Advocacy Initiative, Hajia Mutiat Orolu-Balogun, regretted that the gender was being harassed, abused and treated like criminals for wearing the hijab.
“The hijab is a divine garment, prescribed for Muslim women as a means of worship and identity. It is, thus, always a show of crass ignorance when some people try to convince Muslim women, that our dressing, is just an appropriation of the Arab culture or a protection from harsh desert conditions, and thus, has no use or need to be worn.
“While there exists a global movement for the freedom of women and freedom to make their choices concerning their bodies and certainly concerning their dress, this courtesy is not extended to Muslim women.
“The focus on the girl-child and the need for her rights to be protected and not trampled upon, sadly, seem not to be extended to the Muslim girl-child,” she added.
The group consists of Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria Lagos State Area Unit, Nasrul-lahi-li Fathi Society of Nigeria (NASFAT), Al Muminaat (The Believing Women) Organisation, Hijab Rights Advocacy Initiative, Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN Lagos), Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC), Guild of Muslim Professionals (GMP), Lagos Secretariat Community Central Mosque (LSCCM), Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Pristine Cactus Foundation, The Criterion, International Muslim Women Union (IMWU), NACOMYO, Pure Heart Islamic Foundation (PHF Lagos), Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria Obafemi Awolowo University Muslim Graduates Association (Unifemga), Islamic Medical Association of Nigeria (IMAN), Women in Dawah Akhawat and Izarul Haq Movement of Nigeria.