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Makinde, groups seek protection of hijab-wearing females

By Rotimi Agboluaje (Ibadan), Shakirah Adunola and Waliat Musa (Lagos)
02 February 2022   |   3:41 am
Governor Seyi Makinde, yesterday, congratulated the Muslim Ummah in Oyo State, especially the female adherents, on the 2022 World Hijab Day with a further assurance that the current administration would not trample on the religious rights of anyone.

Governor Seyi Makinde, yesterday, congratulated the Muslim Ummah in Oyo State, especially the female adherents, on the 2022 World Hijab Day with a further assurance that the current administration would not trample on the religious rights of anyone.

In a statement by his Special Assistant on Islamic Affairs, Imam AbdRasheed AbdAzeez, the governor noted that his administration would not oppose activities and practices that promote godliness and modesty.

He added that hijab is a covering, which not only beautifies the wearer, but also helps in advancing decency in society.

ALSO, the Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN) has cautioned principals of secondary schools and authorities of higher learning institutions and other agencies against discrimination of hijab-wearing females in the country.

It made the appeal in a statement in Ibadan.

FOMWAN Chairperson (Amirah) in Oyo State, Alhaja Bushra Oloso, stated: “Discrimination against hijab anywhere in the world is discrimination against modesty.”

“Hijab is our crown not a crime. Hijab-wearing Muslims in Nigeria have not erred or committed any crime in the Constitution for upholding the right to wear their God-given crown, hence the harassment, assault, persecution and molestation in all forms in private or public places must stop.”

RELATEDLY, a coalition of women group, under the aegis of Hijab Rights Advocacy Initiative, has called on the Federal Government, National Assembly, State Houses of Assembly, the judiciary and all regulatory authorities to ensure that hijab-wearing Muslim females were not harassed and discriminated against.

The coordinator and Director of Hijab Rights Advocacy Initiative, Hajia Mutiat Orolu-Balogun, regretted that the gender was being harassed, abused and treated like criminals for wearing the hijab.

“The hijab is a divine garment, prescribed for Muslim women as a means of worship and identity. It is, thus, always a show of crass ignorance when some people try to convince Muslim women, that our dressing, is just an appropriation of the Arab culture or a protection from harsh desert conditions, and thus, has no use or need to be worn.

“While there exists a global movement for the freedom of women and freedom to make their choices concerning their bodies and certainly concerning their dress, this courtesy is not extended to Muslim women.

“The focus on the girl-child and the need for her rights to be protected and not trampled upon, sadly, seem not to be extended to the Muslim girl-child,” she added.

The group is consisted of Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria Lagos state Area Unit, Nasrul-lahi-li Fathi Society of Nigeria (NASFAT), Al Muminaat (The Believing Women) Organisation, Hijab Rights Advocacy Initiative, Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN Lagos), Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC), Guild of Muslim Professionals (GMP), Lagos Secretariat Community Central Mosque (LSCCM), Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Pristine Cactus Foundation, The Criterion, International Muslim Women Union (IMWU), NACOMYO, Pure Heart Islamic Foundation (PHF Lagos), Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria Obafemi Awolowo University Muslim Graduates Association (Unifemga), Islamic Medical association of Nigeria (IMAN), Women in Dawah Akhawat and Izarul Haq Movement of Nigeria.