As the world set to mark another Hijab Day, eighteen Islam groups led by the Hijab Rights Advocate is insisting on the constitutional rights of Muslim women to freely wear their Hijab in schools, government and private offices as well as other public places.
The first of February every year is set aside to mark the world Hijab Day in recognition of the rights of Muslim women to wear Hijab and provide solution to challenges confronting them in complying with the use of Hijab.
The theme of this year’s celebration is Veiled in Strength.
While addressing newsmen at the Secretariat Mosque, Alausa-Ikeja, the Executive Director, Hijab Rights Advocate, Mutiat Orolu-Balogun commended the resilience of Muslim women who still wear the Hijab despite the enormous challenges that confronts them in the country.
She insists that the use of Hijab by Muslim women is an injuction from Allah and part of the dictate of Islamic religion.
Hajia Mutiat Orolu-Balogun however lamented that it takes a lot of strength to wear Hijab today among Muslmi women in Nigeria.
She explained that even the Supreme Court in a celebrated case gave a positive verdict in support of Hijab in consonance with sectionn 38 of the constitution but yet to be respected in many instances.
Also speaking on behalf of NASFAT, Alhaja Suwebat Kupolati called on the Director General of the National Identification Management Commission, Abisoye Coker-Odusote to educate her staff in ensuring that the rights of Muslim women are not violated in the process of registering for the exercise.
She said that the group had been inundated with several reports on the infringement of rights, harassment and denial of Muslim women on Hijab from participating in the exercise.
Adding her voice on behalf of the Muslim Students Society, Lagos Area Unit, Rafiah Tijani said it was sad that some students on Hijab encountered difficulties in registering for WAEC and other examinations when they are forced to remove their Hijab to capture their faces during registration.
She also called on the Lagos State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Jamiu Alli-Balogun to look into the widespread violation and abuse of the rights of Muslim students in both private and public schools across the state.
Dr Halimah Ogunbekun of An-Nujjabau Female Forum
while looking back at the success story on the use of Hijab, commended the Director of Lagos State Fire Service, Magareth Adeseye and the Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon Mudashiru Obasa for their intervention and compliance with the use of Hijab in areas within their jurisdiction.
For Alhaja Kudirat Ogunmuyiwa who attended the event on behalf of FOMWAN, believes the challenges facing Muslim women were numerous but not unsurmountable.
She said they were proud of Dr Aminat Ige-Ariibi for emerging the best graduating Phd student during the 54th convocation ceremony at the University of Lagos.
The concern of Hajia Bilqis Abdullahi from Al-Muminat was the need for the International community to ensure that ceasefire is put in place in the ongoing onslaught by Israel against the Palestine.
She however commended the Muslim women in the war-torn area of Gaza who are still keeping on their Hijab despite the onslaught.
The list of the 18 Muslim Groups are listed below:
1.Hijab Rights Advocacy Initiative
2. Nasrullahi Fathi Society (NASFAT)
3. Pure Heart Islamic Foundation
4. Al-Muminaat Organisation Lagos
5. MSSN Lagos State Area unit
6. An Nujabau Female Forum
7. Izharul Haq Movement of Nigeria
8. FOMWAN Lagos
9. The Criterion Lagos District
10. International Muslim Women Union (IMWU)
11. Islamic Medical Association of Nigeria (IMAN)
12. Lagos Secretariat Community Central Mosque
13. Muslim Public Affairs Center MPAC
14. Akhwaat Muslimat Organization, Lagos.
15. Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
16. Guild of Muslim Professionals
17. Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria
18. Pristine Cactus Foundation