By Ola Babatunde
An appeal has gone to the Nigerian Government to, as a matter of priority and policy, end the increasing assaults on Muslim girls who wear Hijab in their various schools.
The Amirah of the Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), Kwara Chapter, Hajia Nimat Labaika, made the appeal on Tuesday (February 1, 2022) in Ilorin while speaking at the celebration of the World Hijab Day organised by the Kwara chapter of FOMWAN.
Labaika implored those in the corridor of powers in the to country to encourage willing Muslim girls to wear Hijab in their various schools to allow them practice their religion the best way it ought to be practiced.
She advised Muslim parents and guardians to see the use of Hijab as an integral part of dressing for Muslim ladies and not to feel shy to practice their religion as explicitly defined by the scriptures.
“At this time when hate crimes continue to rise in our society, it is important to come together, stand in solidarity and speak with one voice in the fight against systemic anti-Muslim bigotry” she averred.
Labaika hinted that the Hijab Day was formed to create awareness about the victimization of Muslim women and girls who wear Hijab for modesty, ading that the celebration is also a platform for advocacy.
In his lecture at the event, the former Deputy Rector, Kwara State Polytechnic, Dr Habeeba Adam, described Hijab as the veil worn by Muslims female to cover the head, bosom and the whole body, adding that it provides them with both spiritual and physical, peace and harmony.
Adam, who spoke on the theme “Hijab Our Crown and Not our Crime”, submitted that Hijab covering worn by Muslim women is not a symbol of oppression but piety.
“Enduring the silent ban on the use of Hijab in public schools is allowing injustice, Muslim women in Hijab pay Educational tax and their children have rights to go to public schools with their Hijabs on if they wish to,” she said.
She explained that the Hijab Day îs an annual event founded by Nazma Khan in Feb. 1st 2013, in more than 140 countries worldwide.
According to her, the purpose of the day is to encourage women of all religion and background to wear, experience and appreciate the Hijab.
“It is also to educate and spread awareness on why Hijab is worn, to help address the challenge faced by those wearing the Hijab and to show the world that Muslim women are dressed and not oppressed,” she said.
“The Hijab is basically for modesty, but it goes much deeper than just a cloth on your head. Its a symbolic form of worship. Modesty is a very key part of Islamic faith; its the essence of our faith, so we’re wearing that our heads to represent that worship,.
Also speaking, A School Counsellor, at Lamp Bearers Islamic School, Ilorin, Mrs Mutiat Olusheyi, recounted that female children were being killed and buried alive by the Arabs before the Advent of Islam, and pointing out that with the advent of Islam, women emancipation has been given topmost priority, which envetually gave birth to the end of era of infanticide of the females children.
“Islma gave economic rights to women to own properties and engage in economic ventures just as their men counterpart.
“The Hijab transcends material coverings. It encompasses the whole general disposition of the woman and her morality,” she said.
According to her, the Hijab is surrounded by piety and God consciousness and people who use it should not be subjected to ridicule and oppression because of their mode of dressing.