Groups seek human rights support for Firdaus
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Muslim Lawyers’ Association of Nigeria, Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN), Al-Mu`minaat (The Believing Women Organisation), Social Advocacy Project (SAP), Muslim Student’s Lawyer Association and Igbo Muslims have called on Nigeria Law School and other authorities to desist from action capable of militarizing religious and ethic groups in the country and allow Firdaus Amasa Abdulsalam to be called to bar.
The group urged the Nigeria National Assembly to intervene in to the matter, set a judicial inquiry on the circumstances surrounding the molestation of Muslim students who were forced to remove their Hijab on the fateful day and general reform of the Nigerian Law School, reviewing code of dressing in the Nigerian Law Schools affecting the manifestation of religious beliefs.Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola during a press conference, called on Nigerians to stand for justice regardless of ethnic or religious background.
“This hijab saga must be seen beyond religion. It is about human rights. A helpless lady has stood her ground to protect her dignity and for this bold action she has been denied her right to be called to bar. This is what she has toiled for all her life. Her university found her worthy in learning and in character only for the Law School to adopt a yardstick unknown to law to deny her call to bar. It is therefore a battle between convention and constitutionalism. The latter cannot win by any standard. Not when men of conscience and principles still exist in this country. If it is tradition, it must first bow to the course of law.”
The Lagos State University Don wondered why it so difficult for agency of government to accommodate Muslim women’s willingness to follow Allah’s injunction, whereas Western countries like Britain, Canada and the United States have designed uniforms with hijab for their female Muslim police, soldiers, students, Nigeria has failed to borrow a leaf from those advanced countries on a matter which does not cost one kobo, neither does it require technology. All it needs is the will to live together, to tolerate and accommodate each other.
All we have been asking for is that Muslims should be fully integrated into the Nigerian society, he said. MURIC described the action of Nigeria Law School as deplorable and preposterous. “The law school ill treatment of Muslims would not have been exposed if firdaus Amasa had succumbed to intimidation like other Muslims had done in the past because it has come to public knowledge that this has always been the practice in the law school every year”.
He condemned the discriminatory action saying if the Law School has rules which make the wearing of hijab an offence for a female Muslim graduate of law to be called to bar, then the Law School has erred.
“It has made it impossible for female Muslims to practice and to manifest their faith. The Law School has infringed upon Allah-given fundamental human rights of Muslim female students. Our stand here is that whoever persecutes one Nigerian Muslim, whether male or female, has persecuted all Nigerian Muslims”
He called on patriotic Nigerians and progressive groups, feminine liberation groups in the country to step into the matters. The National Assembly (NASS) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to investigate the circumstances surrounding the dehumanization of female Muslim hijabites at the event.”
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