MSSN Lagos Decries Human Right Abuse Against Muslim Females
The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Area Unit (MSSN Lagos) has expressed displeasure over the increasing human right abuses especially against Muslim females wearing Hijab in Nigeria.
The Amirah (female head) of the MSSNLagos, Hajia Hafsoh Badru, said this during a campaign organised on Monday to mark 2016 edition of the World Hijab Day (WHD) which is themed, ‘Beautiful, Confident and Empowered’. The World Hijab Day is globally marked annual event on February 1.
During the campaign, Muslim females trooped out in hundreds displaying placards reading, ‘my hijab, my pride, choice and religion; hijab signifies superiority and not inferiority; I love the hijab; hijab by heart; if beret is for Christains, Hijab is for Muslims; and no matter the murmuring Hijab till I die.’
Others inscription aimed at sentising the public on Hijab usage are, ‘just do it, wear Hijab for a day, I am happy I wear the Hijab, and don’t let the grave be the first time you will use the Hijab' among others.
While giving a survey on the rate of human right abuses, the female head said despite awareness about the importance of Hijab, some Nigerians still harass Muslim females wearing Hijab and veil under the guise of being security conscious.
She asked Nigerians to stop the deceit that the Hijab was been forced on Muslim females, saying the current fight against corruption should include avoidance of breach on rights of Muslim females.
She also described as superficial and misguided the argument that Hijab or veil should be banned for security reasons.
She added, “The avalanche of agony stories and revelations of monumental intimidation/harassment of Muslim females putting on the Hijab in recent times is condemnable and an act against the laws of Allah (God) and even that of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We consider it as a corrupt act against humanity and a coup against the fundamental Human Right of Nigerian citizens, who are Muslim females.
“It is appalling that despite the recognition of freedom of religion in the Nigeria constitution (Section 36) and United Nations Charter, Muslims that wear Hijab and veil are still being disturbed in their various places of work, hospital, registration points, schools, on the street, bus stops and even inside commercial vehicles.
“Without bias, an abuse carried out against anyone’s freedom to practise the tenets of his/her religion is a disrespect and disregard to the constitution and it constitutes a grievous abuse on human right. It is shameful that human right abuses are increasing in Nigeria at a point when it should be decreasing."
Badru, who condemned in entirety the activities of the Boko Haram sect, explained that Hijab worn by Muslims was not to support or aid the sect’s activities.
Blaming corruption as one of the major factors that gave room for the increasing human right abuses against Muslim females, she said, “Muslim females’ validity to wear Hijab should not be what will be infringed upon because we are not the one who diverted the fund that was supposed to be used to buy the needed arms for the country to boost security.
"Even when the Federal Government has successfully established that the arms fund was diverted, it shocks to now see the same government, its soldiers, police and citizens portray religious intolerance to the tune of removing Muslim females’ hijab and veil, a calculated action to naked them.
"Our stand is simply that if the government is truly not the one sending the security officers harassing Muslims on Hijab, it should proof that by fishing out the perpetrators of the previous harassments against Hijabites and additionally impose a stiff punishment on anyone caught doing that henceforth."
The Muslim females leader lamented the refusal of the judiciary to protect the allegedly harassed and molested Muslims when approached on the ban placed on Hijab in public schools in Lagos.
"The Ikeja High Court that we approached for judgement in favour of Hijab ruled against it claiming the "secular nature" of Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole.
"We have appealed the case and subsequently, the court of Appeal sitting in Lagos after hearing the appellant motion on Thursday, November 19, 2015 has fixed February 8 for the hearing of appeal against the ban of hijab in Lagos State. No matter what they do, they cannot frustrate us, we will continue to be law abiding and ensure that we see the case to a successful end," she stated.
World Hijab Day was started by Nazma Khan, a Bangladesh lady in New York in 2013. The day came into being over misconceptions and wrong interpretations of what Hijab represents and denial of its usage in some part of the World.
Muslim Students' Society of Nigeria,
Lagos State Area Unit.