By Ejiro Zainab Owhoka
The Lagos State Area Unit of the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) has again called on the Lagos State Government to respect the right of female Muslim students to use Hijab in public schools.
The body said that the government’s adamant posture on the issue call to question its sincerity and commitment to the Rule of Law and protection of the fundamental human rights of Lagosians.
The organisation added that it would mobilise the entire Muslim students in the state against the government in the 2015 elections if it does not allow the use of Hijab in schools.
The calls came as the society on Saturday joined millions of Muslims across the globe to mark the World Hijab Day.
Addressing over a thousand Muslim students at a rally at the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park, Ojota Lagos, the Amirah (female president) of the association, Hajia Hafsah Badru, wondered why Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), who is believed to be versed in the matters of the law, would deny Muslim students, whose parents are tax-payers, their divinely-ordained and constitutionally-guaranteed rights.
Badru, who led the students on a walk from Maryland bus stop to the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park, urged the Governor to emulate his Ekiti State counterpart, Dr Kayode Fayemi, who recently prohibited the discrimination against Muslim students using the Hijab in state public schools.
“We advise Governor Fashola to do the right thing just like Dr Fayemi had done in Ekiti State. Allowing our sisters to use Hijab in schools is not a favour we are seeking from the government. We are only demanding that this divinely-ordained and constitutionally guaranteed right be recognised and respected,” she said.
Making reference to the current Hijab case before the Ikeja High Court, Badru chided the government for what she called “delay tactics,” accusing it of attempting to frustrate Muslim students in the state from seeing the case to a logical end.
It would be recalled that the case has suffered five adjournments most of which came on the applications by government’s counsel.
Badru explained that allowing Hijab in schools will curb the rate of immorality in the society especially among teenagers.
“We do not understand the fear of the government on allowing Hijab in our schools. If others have the right to put on uniforms that are in conformity to their religions, why can’t Muslims enjoy the same right? We are not calling for the Hijab to be compelled on everybody, what we want is for those people using it not to be discriminated against or victimised.
“The Hijab is an apparel of honour, a garment of modesty and shield against immorality. It is our pride. It is our dignity. Please allow us use it,” Badru said