Stop associating hijab with insecurity, terrorism, groups warn
Muslim women under the aegis of Coalition of Muslim Organizations have emphasized that covering of heads with veils has nothing to do with terrorism, insecurity and other criminal acts.
The coalition comprised Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) Lagos state Area Unit, Al Muminaat, Hijab Rights Advocacy Initiative (HRAI), Nasru-lahi-Fathi Society (NASFAT) Lagos, Federation of Muslim Women Associations of Nigeria (FOMWAN) Lagos, Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC), Ansarudeen Youth of Nigeria (ADYAN), Guild of Muslim Professionals (GMP), Lagos Secretariat Community Central Mosque, Alausa (LSCCM), Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Pristine Cactus Foundation, The Criterion and International Muslim Women Union (IMWU).
Addressing thousands of women who converged at Freedom Park, after the awareness walk in Lagos, the Director, Hijab Rights Advocacy Initiative, Mutiat Orolu-Balogun decried continued discrimination and inhuman treatment of women and girls in hijab. She stated that hijab has nothing to do with insecurity, that terrorists had, in the past, attempted to use underwear, can drinks, fruits, sachet water, shoes and others to perpetrate terror.
It wondered why some section of the public didn’t call for the ban of those items used by the terrorists but called for the ban of hijab and discriminate against those wearing it.She appealed to Nigerians to encourage Muslim women in hijab rather than humiliate them.
The Amirah, Al-Muminaat, Lagos State, Hajia Bushrah Adeagbo-Jubril, said the woman in hijab has every right that every other person has and she should be treated accordingly.
She said, “Nigerians should know that the woman in hijab has inalienable and fundamental human rights like every other person. We have therefore chosen the walk to showcase Muslim women in hijab”.
The Amirah, Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations of Nigeria (FOMWAN), Dr. Haleemah Egberongbe explained that hijab in an injunction from Almighty Allah, which Muslims must obey.
“This is an outing to reach out to the people in government to know that hijab is not just an idea from an individual but a religious injunction from Almighty Allah; and it is meant to be conformed with”.The National Women Affairs Secretary of NASFAT, Alhaja Suwebat Kupolati implored Muslim women to see themselves as ambassadors of Islam.
“The hijab brought all of us together across the world, we are all one just like a team, Unity in Diversity’. We are all ambassadors of Islam. May Allah make it easy for our women to always portray the beauties of Islam wherever they are”
The Amirah, Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Area Unit, Bashirah Majekodunmi, similarly used the occasion to challenge Muslim ladies in hijab to strive for academic excellence.
“You should make sure you adhere to the teachings of Islam. As hijabis, the teachings of Islam and morals should reflect in our attitude and character. You should aim to be the best and attain the peak of your chosen careers”.
Throughout the walk and the rally, the energetic and orderly hijabis displayed placards with varying inscriptions such as: ‘My Hijab, My Dignity”; Hijab is My Dignity; Respect and Honour My Hijab”, My Hijab, My Paradise”,’Hijab, the Highest Form of Civilization’, ‘Hijab is an Obligation not an Option’; Why is My Hijab Your Problem?
On her part, a Deputy Director in the Ministry of Education in Lagos State, Hajia Bushrah Alli, described the hijab as a means of protection for women from being molested.“True to the words of Allah, If you are a true hijabi that has learnt the rudiments of Hijab before you start wearing the outer hijab, wherever you are, you make a mark”, she stressed.
The Representative of Lagos Secretariat Community Central Mosque (LSCCM), Hajia Aisha Adams, commended the Lagos State government for allowing Muslim women at the work force to adorn their Hijab in accordance with their religious belief.
“We have not experience discrimination in Lagos civil service, though there are so many private organization that do not allow women to exercise their religious right. She added that Muslim women are abused in so many ways, mostly denied access to employment.
Adams advised any women going through discrimination in her working place to endeavor to contact Hijab Right Advocacy so that necessary step would be taken to fight for their right. She applauded Muslim women out there who adorn her hijab despite all forms of discrimination they face in the society.
The Director of Muslims Right Concern, MURIC, Professor Lakin Aintola, charged the Muslim women not to be discouraged by unlawful discrimination, saying hijab remains the pride and dignity of womanhood as oppose to nudity and other indecent dressing common in the society today.
He said: “Never be discouraged with from using your hijabs, You are the positive influencers and pride of the society. You represent the pride of the womanhood, you are the dignity of the society. Let those who want to go naked continue to do so, your hijab is your identity. We are now been railroaded or subjected to secondhand citizens, we are. The Constitution guarantee freedom of religion and nobody should harass you.
According to him, most people failed to realise that the school uniform was designed by the colonial masters without consideration for the right of Muslim as far as dressing is concern.He assured that group will continue to win court cases on hijab as it did in many states on several cases of deprivation of right of hijab-wearing women and girls.
Akintola said that it was it was ironical that that world is spending huge resources to campaign against HIV/AIDs and other sexual abuse cases against women without looking at the areas of indecent dressing and other causes of such abuses. He added that Hijab advocacy was not only moral but legal in the Constitution wondered why the society discriminates against it.