Wednesday, 7th June 2023

Hijab: Muslim students urge Lagos to issue circular on Supreme Court verdict

By Waliat Musa
24 June 2022   |   3:08 am
The Lagos State Government has been given a 30-day ultimatum to issue a circular on the recently delivered judgment by the Supreme Court approving the use of hijab in Lagos schools.

School girls in hijab

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The Lagos State Government has been given a 30-day ultimatum to issue a circular on the recently delivered judgment by the Supreme Court approving the use of hijab in Lagos schools.

The Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), gave the ultimatum during a press conference in Lagos, urging government to caution its officials against harassing Muslim females wearing hijab

The Amir (president), Miftahudeen Thanni, explained that issuing the circular would curb overzealous teachers and principals from contempt of court.

He said, “this is not to castigate the Lagos State government but to appeal for the prompt implementation of the Supreme Court judgment.

He added “We waited patiently to get the judgment 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.”

Recall that after about 10 years of legal tussle, the Supreme Court on Friday, July 17, 2022, approved the wearing of hijab by female Muslim students to school in Lagos State.

The majority decision affirmed the earlier Court of Appeal’s decision which restored the use of hijab by female Muslim students in Lagos State.

Displeased with the judgment, the Lagos State Government attempted to obtain a stay of execution of the Court of Appeal’s decision but failed.

In November 2018, the Lagos State government issued an earlier circular to all principals of public secondary schools instructing them to allow students.

Miftahudeen said, “when the Lagos State government issued the circular, we thought relief had come, but it is utterly unfortunate that some school authorities and some defective teachers are working against the circular. They are interested in ultimately jeopardising law and order.

“Instead of obeying the circular, some school principals, vice-principals and teachers feign ignorance of the approval of Hijab in Lagos State, and desperately began to deal with our members.

“We demand that the Lagos State Government should issue a circular within 30 days after the delivery of the judgment allowing Hijab. The Lagos State Government should sanction officials who go against the Supreme Court judgment and hold a meeting with MSSNLagos, Muslim leaders and other Islamic organisations on the size and modalities of using the hijab.”

On her part, Asiyat AbdulKareem, who sued the Lagos State Government, urged that 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.

Also, the Ameerah (female head) of MSSNLagos, Basheerah Majekodunmi, called on all Muslims to be law abiding and report any violation to the appropriate quarters.

On her part, Executive Secretary of Hijab Rights Advocacy Initiative, Shereefat Enessi, commended the Supreme Court for the judgment.

“It is not a victory for the Muslims alone, it is a victory for civilisation, 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.