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Muslim students have constitutional right to use hijab, says sultan

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[FILES] Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, has enjoined Muslims across the country to always demand their rights within the ambit of the law. Photo: PIXABAY

The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, has enjoined Muslims across the country to always demand their rights within the ambit of the law.

Speaking at the fourth General Assembly of the Muslim Ummah of Southwest Nigeria (MUSWEN), in Ibadan, Abubakar said the Islamic religion allows for usage of Hijab (headscarf) and it should be allowed because the constitution allows for freedom of religion.

He cautioned those advocating for the use of Hijab and various organisations championing the welfare of Muslims in the country to demand their rights within the ambit of the law. He advised Muslims to always seek redress in a peaceful manner instead of open confrontations.

“Muslims must be law-abiding, the moment we are attacking each other, then there will be no peace. So we need peace. And we have been doing our own in silence. I urged all of you to be law-abiding. The issue is at the court and since it is in the court, we can’t make further statements, so that we don’t commit contempt of the court.

“Demand for your rights within the ambit of the law. I urged all of you to be patient because Almighty Allah loved the patience ones. On the issue of Hijab at the university, there are some organizations that are advocating for it, let them continue advocating, but at our own level we have been doing ours silently.

“In the constitution, we have freedom of religion. If my religion allows me to wear Hijab, nobody should stop me. So our politicians and leaders must know that. All these issues have been politicised.

“But, I want to assure you that people are free to do what their religion permit them to do. And I want to charge MUSWEN that in 11 years what have you achieved in the area of education. Now, we have so many universities, how many of these are owned by Muslim organizations. Where are our Muslim brothers and sisters that Almighty Allah has blessed?’

Abubakar while speaking on the factors responsible for the array of social problems militating against the survival of Nigeria, identified unemployment, poverty and absence of small scale industries in the rural areas as some of the major problems in Nigeria.

“If people are engaged, they will be enjoying. We need employment opportunities for the youth. We need to create jobs. We need to establish more industries in rural areas and villages. There are some people in the villages that need little capital. If it is only our political leaders that will be thinking of mansions.

“Let us face our challenges as Muslims. I want you to do more. There are challenges. Do more. Our doors are opened. And don’t allow politicians to smear Islam. When we are not in unity, the politicians will be happy that we are not in unity,” he said.

Chairman MUSWEN Education Committee, Professor Muibi Opeloye urged Muslims who are in the corridor of power not to mind their political differences but unite when issues of national importance are being discussed.

Opeloye recommended that “Wealth should not be the criterion for eligibility for public office. Such factors such as qualities of head and heart, education, wisdom, mental and physical heath should be the criteria. In recognition of the Nigerian constitutional provisions, Shariah courts should be introduced in South Western Nigeria to replace the Shariah panels functioning in the various states of the zone.

“The multi-party system that recognises ninety-one political parties is unwieldy. The number has to be drastically reduced.”

I consider seven be manageable and it is so recommended. Muslims in the Parliament should regardless of their party affiliation always unite to support not only matters of Islamic concern, but also matters of national interest in furtherance of national development”.


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