Hijab crisis: Group urges parents, clerics on enforcement of court order

By Akeeb Alarape, Osogbo 

A group, the Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN), has urged Muslim parents and clerics in Osun State not to enforce the court order on usage of Hijab by female students in public schools in the state. 

The Muslim community in the state in 2013 instituted a case against the state government on the right of female Muslim students in public schools to use hijab on their school uniforms. 

A high court in its judgment on the case on June 3, granted female Muslim students the right to be wearing hijabs. But the state Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) faulted the judgment and vowed to appeal it. 

CAN further said that it would direct Christian students in public schools to be wearing church garments to schools to propagate their faith if the state government implemented the judgment. 

Since the court Judgment on the issue, female Muslim students have been wearing hijab on their school uniform, while Christians students were also wearing church garments on their uniform as directed by CAN. 

The Executive Secretary of MUSWEN, Prof Dawud Noibi who gave this warning on Monday while addressing journalist in Ibadan stated that the action of any Muslims that causes crisis in trying to enforce hijab usage is not supported by MUSWEN. 

“No citizen has the right to take the law into his hands. We believe that, barring any attempt to frustrate the enforcement of the court order, the government has adequate machinery to enforce the order. Indeed, only the government possesses the power to enforce all laws.” he said 

Noibi appealed to the Osun State Government to do the needful on the court order, adding that justice must not only be done, but it must be seen to be done. 

The Islamic don urged CAN leadership in Osun State to deeply consider the advice which Archbishop John Cardinal Onaiyekan that nation should adopt the policy that no law should prohibit what religion prescribes or require citizens to do what religion prohibits. 

“What is worse, Osun State CAN not only rejected the ruling of a court of competent jurisdiction; ?It encouraged Christian pupils to disobey the court order by instigating them to go to school in their variety of full church attires. 

“Besides, on purely moral grounds one may ask: how does a Muslim girl’s wearing of Hijab offend a Christian? Moreover, the court ruling does not compel all Muslim Students to wear hijab. It is left entirely to the choice of the individual student who wishes to obey the order coming from her creator. The court has only affirmed her God-given right” Noibi said 

The MUSWEN leader urged CAN to allow peace to reign, respect court order or follow the path of law.

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