The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos State Area Unit has urged the government to ensure affirmative action on the rights of girls to use hijab.
According to a statement signed by its Assistant Public Relations Officer, Miftaudeen Raji, the student body called on government to explore all avenues to ensure the rights of Muslim children to use their hijab without restrain or conditions.
Hijab is a clothing that symbolises modesty and religiousness to Muslim females. It is worn to cover the body from the head down.
Respect the status and rights of every girl
The statement quoted the leader of the group, Dr. Saheed Ashafa as saying that it was imperative for government to respect the status and rights of every girl child irrespective of their religious or ethnic affiliation.
“We call on the government, stakeholders, all well meaning and sensible individuals to respect the status of every girl child irrespective of their religious or ethnic background,” he said.
Islam elevated women
Commenting on the theme of this year’s edition of the International Day of the Girl Child, Ashafa connected it to how the female folk are given elevated status in Islam.
“Since the theme for this year – Empower girls: Before, during and after conflict – acknowledges the power of the adolescent girl, we appreciate the nobility of every girl child with unequal admiration,” he continued.
“We uphold the elevated status of womanhood as raised by the religion of Islam,” the statement read in part.
Overzealous individuals warned
Ashafa warned against all kinds of discrimination against the school girls in hijab just as he urged overzealous individuals to desist from such act with immediate alacrity before the full weight of the law is deployed on them.
“It has been observed that in recent times, some overzealous individuals have relegated the Nigerian system of justice by harrassing, molesting and oppressing female students in their constitutionally granted hijab.”
Legal means of actualisation inexhaustible
He however, vowed that MSSN was ever ready to take legal means to address individual case as they come henceforth.
Ashafa said, “We are surprised to see acclaimed educated individuals acting in such a barbaric, nefarious and uncivilised manner against the extant court ruling which has re-echoed the positon of the nigerian constitution on hijab.”
“We are aware that the Lagos State government has not ordered anyone to tamper with the religious rights of any school child, hence individual case will be treated in the name of the culprit forthwith,” he added.
The MSSN in Lagos has been leading the struggle towards ensuring that female students are not denied of their rights to wear hijab. The group along with two pupils assaulted by their teachers for using hijab won a law suit against the Lagos State government over hijab rights at the Court of Appeal back in February.
MSSN regularly organises spiritual, academic and capacity building programmes for its members who cut across the basic, secondary and tertiary levels of education in Nigeria.