Hijab: Muslim students give Lagos govt ultimatum to implement judgment

The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos, has issued a 30-day ultimatum to the Lagos State authorities to implement the judgment by the Supreme Court docket approving using hijab in Lagos colleges.

The students’ group needs the federal government to challenge a round on the courtroom verdict cautioning its officers in opposition to harassing Muslim females carrying the hijab to college.

Talking at a press convention Wednesday, the affiliation’s president, Miftahudeen Thanni, mentioned issuing the round would curb “overzealous” academics and principals from contempt of courtroom.

“This isn’t to castigate the Lagos State authorities however to enchantment for the immediate implementation of the Supreme Court docket judgment,” he mentioned.

“We waited patiently to get the judgment and we have been lawful all through. Throughout this era, we consulted, collaborated, protested, held rallies and sensitised authorities officers on why a prepared Muslim feminine needs to be allowed to placed on the hijab.”

The case concerned the Lagos State Authorities because the appellant and Asiyat AbdulKareem (by her father), Moriam Oyeniyi, and the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria because the respondents.

Supreme Court docket verdict

After years of authorized tussle, the Supreme Court docket on July 17, 2022, accredited the carrying of hijab by feminine Muslim students to college in Lagos State.

5 out of the seven members of the courtroom’s panel dominated in favour of hijab whereas the 2 others dissented.

The apex courtroom rejected an enchantment by the Lagos State authorities and affirmed the sooner judgment of the Court docket of Attraction which dominated that the ban on hijab was discriminatory in opposition to Muslim students within the state.

In accordance to the Supreme Court docket, the ban violated the rights of the Muslim students to freedom of thought, conscience, faith, the dignity of human individuals and freedom from discrimination assured by the 1999 Structure.

The courtroom panel included Justices Olukayode Ariwoola, Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, John Inyang Okoro, Uwani Aji, Mohammed Garba, Tijjani Abubakar, and Emmanuel Agim.

A.B Gumel, who delivered the lead judgment of the Court docket of Attraction panel, held that carrying the hijab was an Islamic injunction and an act of worship required of Muslims.

He mentioned using hijab by Muslim pupils couldn’t trigger disunity, distraction and discrimination in opposition to students of different faiths as declared by the decrease courtroom choose.

Authorized tussle

The Lagos State Excessive Court docket had in a judgement, on October 17, 2014, upheld the state authorities’s resolution to ban using hijab in public major and secondary colleges within the state.

However the resolution was overturned by the Lagos Division of the Court docket of Attraction in a judgment delivered on July 21, 2016.

In a unanimous judgment, the enchantment courtroom panel dominated that the ban on using hijab in public colleges within the state was discriminatory in opposition to Muslim pupils.

The Lagos State authorities was displeased with this judgment and tried to get hold of a keep of execution of the Court docket of Attraction’s resolution however failed.

In November 2018, the Lagos State Authorities later issued a round to all principals of public secondary colleges instructing them to enable students.

Talking additional, Mr Thanni mentioned, “When the Lagos State Authorities issued the round, we thought reduction had come, however it’s completely unlucky that some college authorities and a few faulty academics are working in opposition to the round. They’re fascinated about in the end jeopardising legislation and order.

“As a substitute of obeying the round, some college principals, vice-principals and academics feign ignorance of the approval of Hijab in Lagos State, and desperately started to take care of our members.

“For no purpose ought to a girl-child be denied training once more in Lagos State and Nigeria as a complete.

“The photographs of Muslim students despatched out of the examination corridor for carrying hijab contact the guts and persistently carry tears to the eyes. We are not looking for this to recur. The training of the girl-child may be very paramount in our hearts. No Muslim lady ought to ever be informed to select between her religion and training. Each are her rights.

“We demand that the Lagos State Authorities ought to challenge a round inside 30 days after the supply of the judgment permitting Hijab.

“The Lagos State Authorities ought to sanction officers who go in opposition to the Supreme Court docket judgment and maintain a gathering with MSSNLagos, Muslim leaders and different Islamic organisations on the dimensions and modalities of utilizing the hijab.”

Extra feedback

In her feedback, Mrs AbdulKareem, who sued the Lagos State Authorities, urged that the victimisation of Muslim students ought to cease.

“We suffered to get this judgment and it’s my hope that it is going to be an finish to the victimisation somebody like me suffered,” he mentioned.

On her half, Government Secretary of Hijab Rights Advocacy Initiative, Shereefat Enessi, recommended the Supreme Court docket for the judgment.

“It isn’t a victory for the Muslims alone, it’s a victory for civilisation, for democracy and for peace.

“We aren’t all Muslims and as such understanding, the significance of a spiritual command like hijab will not be simple, however no less than we’re all in the identical boat that’s Nigeria, pulling one another down would solely take us all down,” he mentioned.

Additionally, the Nationwide Amir of MSSN, Uthman Abubakar, who lamented that Muslim students have for lengthy suffered discrimination saluted the judgment by the Supreme courtroom.

“The MSSN salutes the braveness, understanding and software of the Constitutional legislation as it’s by the panel of the justices.

“The judgment is manifestly credible and ensures as one of many elementary Human Rights granted to Muslims and another adherents of a faith,” he mentioned.

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