Outrage as UI secondary school forces students to remove hijab

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The International School, University of Ibadan girls barred from entering their school for wearing hijab on Thursday, 15th November, 2018

Muslims organisations have expressed outrage over the alleged forceful removal of hijab from secondary school students of the University of Ibadan (UI) owned secondary school, the International School Ibadan (ISI).

Since last Wednesday and Thursday, multiple reports on social media showed that the school management had forced its students who use the hijab to remove it even outside the school premises.

In this controversy, the principal of ISI, Mrs Phebean Olowe and some staff of the school have been accused of violating the constitutional rights of students to use their hijab.

This led to some Muslim parents who demanding that their daughters be allowed to adorn a modified hijab as their constitutionally guaranteed rights.

The ISI Muslim Parents Forum (MPF), the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) and the Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC), in separate statements, warned that the principal’s actions is a provocation taken too far and may lead to crisis if nothing is done to stop the victimization of some of the Muslim girls.

The Chairman, ISI MPF, Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Balogun, said following their “tactical withdrawal” from the ISI Hijab matter from the State High Court in Ibadan on June 25, 2019, the Principal through her agents has been harassing and maltreating some of the Muslim girls who took the school to court to enforce their fundamental human rights to wear hijab in the school premises.

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On his part, the MURIC Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, said the viral video showing this incident was distasteful.

According to him, the incident is the height of religious apartheid and a show of shame.

“We find it difficult to believe this is happening under the watch of an internationally recognized higher institution and premier university in Nigeria. This incident diminishes the reputation of the University of Ibadan as a citadel of learning and a center of excellence. It takes the institution back to the Stone Age. Academic culture demands openness, moderation and liberal disposition particularly on matters of religion,” he said.

In another statement, the MPAC Executive Chairman Disu Kamor, said the incident smacks of anti-Muslim sentiments and the provocative remarks and public comments of the protagonists of the push to see Muslim girls in hijab excluded have been based not on sound intellectual arguments but on Islamophobia.

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