… ‘Our Dresscode Ordained By God’
A coalition of 18 Islamic Groups has called on Public officers especially those working where there is need for data capturing like WAEC, NECO, JAMB, Immigration, NIMC among others to stop infringing on rights of Muslim girls and women to wear their Hijab as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution.
This call was made at the 2024 World Hijab Day’s Press Conference held in Lagos on Wednesday.
The World Hijab Day is commemorated every 1st of February in over 150 countries including Nigeria and the theme for this year’s edition is “Veiled in Strength.”
The coalition called on governments at all levels to respect the rights of Muslim girls and women to freely wear their Hijab.
They also called on the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, to ensure that the rights of Muslim women wearing hijabs are not infringed upon during the agency’s biometric process.
“We are reminded of the profound significance of the Hijab and the strength it embodies for Muslim women worldwide. Under the theme “Veiled in Strength,” we reflect on the resilience and dignity of Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab as a symbol of their faith and identity. Our dresscode was given to us by God has stated in the Quran in suratul al-Ahzab 33:59.”
“It truly takes strength and faith to wear hijab particularly in today’s world as well as the society we belong to. The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion is guaranteed by the constitution, and laws regulating these matters recognise and permit the use of Hijab. Yet there are public officers who use their positions to infringe on the rights of Muslim Women.”
“Furthermore, the issue of registration and writing of examinations, such as WAEC, NECO, and JAMB, must be addressed to ensure that Muslim girls are not subjected to discrimination. The registration for WAEC is ongoing in Lagos State public schools and we have received several reports of students being asked to take off their Hijabs, or bear their ears before they can be registered.
“The hijab stands as a symbol of honour, respectability, chastity, and modesty, embodying a steadfast commitment to high moral standards. Contrary to media portrayals, the Muslim woman’s attire is not a tool for political agendas or a mere fashion statement. Rather, it epitomizes the inherent dignity of every Muslim woman, a right enshrined by the constitution of our beloved Nigeria.”
A mega rally is slated for Saturday in order to create the needed awareness.
The groups in the coalition include Hijab Rights Advocacy Initiative, Nasrullahi Fathi Society, NASFAT, Pure Heart Islamic Foundation, Al-Muminaat Organisation Lagos, MSSN Lagos State Area unit, An Nujabau Female Forum, Izharul-Haq Movement of Nigeria and FOMWAN Lagos.
Others are The Criterion Lagos District, International Muslim Women Union, IMWU, Islamic Medical Association of Nigeria, IMAN, Lagos Secretariat Community Central Mosque, Muslim Public Affairs Center, MPAC, Akhwaat Muslimat Organization, Lagos, Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, Guild of Muslim Professionals, GMP, Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria, MMPN and Pristine Cactus Foundation, PCF.