TMC commends Nigeria police on inclusive dressing for female officers
The Muslim Congress has lauded the Nigeria Police High Command for its recent announcement that female officers of Islamic faith, who so desire, will now be allowed to wear head-covers (a sort of hijab), in accordance with the Islamic faith.
The announcement has been applauded by the local Muslim community following years of agitation for an inclusive workforce that recognises the religious rights of men and women in the police and armed forces.
The group commended the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, for his courage to sanction the new dress code while urging the authorities not to give in to the machinations of naysayers, who are already calling for the decision to be rescinded.
In a statement signed by the Amir, TMC, Alhaji AbdulWasiu Taiwo Bangbala, the decision to approve the wearing of hijab as part of the uniform of female Muslim officers is indeed a welcome development and even more symbolic given that the wearing of hijab these days, rather than being a symbol of faith and piety, has, ironically, become a trigger for discrimination and abuse of Muslim women.
“This decision, therefore, highlights that wearing hijab is an exercise of Muslim women’s freedom of religion and free expression, as constitutionally enshrined as part of their inalienable rights. It is important that anyone, who has a calling to serve and protect the lives and properties of Nigerians, and passes the rigorous recruitment and police training standards, feels welcome and not discriminated against regardless of their faith, tribe or culture.”
He added that this move has proven that Nigeria Police is changing with the times, as have a number of police and military organisations across the world that have modified their uniforms to accommodate the hijab in recognition of the diverse backgrounds of their workforce.
“In the West, which is often considered a paradigm of near-perfect system, the use of head-covers by female Muslim officers has become commonplace under revised uniform rules that now allow for every qualified officer to serve regardless of their faith background.”
He said that the new policy need not be viewed from being symbolic and politically correct alone, but as part of the larger effort to create a truly inclusive society where religion and culture are respected and protected, thereby, forming truly civil and peaceful society.
He assured that Muslim women in the police force would continue to prove their mettle, disprove some of the baseless notions seemingly portraying the head-cover or hijab as a fly in the ointment.
He implored Muslim female officers to continue to maintain a high sense of modesty and professionalism not just with their newly approved uniform but also in discharging their duties.
“They must continue to bring their faith-inspired personal qualities into policing the communities while promoting the interest of the country at all times.”