Muslim Group Knocks Buhari Hard Over His Comment On Hijab

The Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has blamed the President Muhammadu Buhari government’s position on the Hijab controversy. The Government was quoted a week ago as saying that it would not meddle in the hijab imbroglio which has entangled the South West.Image result for Professor Ishaq Akintola

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In a press statement issued to DAILY POST on Tuesday by MURIC and signed by Professor Ishaq Akintola, its Director, the group stated, “The Federal Government can’t afford to close its eyes to this serious human rights abuse within its domain.”

The entire nation is FG’s constituency. Isn’t FG worried that the young girl child is being pursued out of school by virtue of her religion?

“Schoolgirls in hijab were locked out of the school gates in the University of Ibadan International School (UIS) and Federal University of Technology Staff School, Ogbomosho. The same has happened in Abeokuta and Lagos. Apart from this, the courts in the South West are saturated with hijab cases.

“The court cases underline the need for FG to direct the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation to invite all the commissioners for Justice in the affected states to discuss the issue.”

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There are serious implications associated with this hijab imbroglio. It is something beyond a straightforward denial of a head cover. The individuals who deny female Muslim children of the privilege to use hijab are participating in child abuse, belittling and profiling.

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By treating the Muslim young girl child with hatred and criticism, they open her to mockery, strike the pride of her human individual and deny her of her fearlessness.

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“In addition, they promote child depression and education-fatigue in the girl-child because their hostile and illegal action is capable of discouraging the Muslim girl-child from attending school. This is paradoxical because various state governments have criminalized failure to attend school by any child of school age. Failure to indicate interest in the hijab affair in the South West will defeat FG’s campaign for girl-child education.

“It is equally important to add that FG’s lack of interest is already breeding impunity in illegality as other federal agencies have made it their cardinal duty to persecute Muslim women who wear hijab. The excesses manifest in the immigration department where Muslim women in hijab are forced to remove it before ‘capturing’ takes place for processing international passports.
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The same is concurrently happening right now in the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) where ladies in hijab are exposed to this embarrassing demand before ‘capturing’ for driving licenses. The involvement of government organizations in the exploitation of Muslim ladies makes it increasingly basic for FG to indicate interest.

It demonstrates that the issue isn’t constrained toward the South West. It has a national spread.

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“It requires strategic thinking. FG must rise to the occasion before it is too late. The Muslims are complaining now without being violent. We are still fortunate that MURIC, which is spearheading the matter is a non-violent human rights group which employs civilized methods to make its demands. We must not wait until extremist elements hijack the struggle. We remind FG that justice is the soul of peace. Those who deny one cannot enjoy the other.

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“We, therefore, advise FG to issue a circular criminalizing the harassment of women in hijab in any government office in Nigeria. Furthermore, FG must educate these government functionaries on the illegality of disallowing hijab-wearing women from performing their civic responsibilities. Government must also go further by ensuring that any civil servant who is caught doing so after the enlightenment is duly punished.

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The Nigerian constitution is rich in guidelines but compliance, implementation and enforcement are the problems. Refusal to allow a woman in hijab to perform a civic duty is a breach of Section 42 of the1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which stipulates that:

(1) A citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, RELIGION or political opinion shall not, by reason only that he is such a person:-

(a) be subjected either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any executive or administrative action of the government (or its agencies-addition ours), to disabilities or RESTRICTIONS to which citizens of Nigeria, of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religion or political opinions are not made subject.