World Hijab Day: Muslim women seek FG’s intervention on alleged victimisation

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By Salisu Sani-Idris

Coalition of Nigerian Muslim Women has appealed to the Federal Government
to be more proactive in curtailing alleged victimisation of Muslim women who wear hijab in public and private institutions.

A member of the coalition, Mrs Rukayat Dindi, made the appeal at a news conference to mark the Ninth Annual World Hijab Day
held on Thursday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the day was founded by Nazma Khan, a Bangladeshi-American in 2013 to
raise awareness and normalise the wearing of hijab.

Hijab generally refers to head covering conventionally worn by Muslim women when in public.

The day is being celebrated on Feb. 1 in 140 countries worldwide to encourage women of all religions and backgrounds to wear
and experience the hijab, and to educate and spread awareness on why hijab is worn.

Dindi, who is a legal practitioner by profession, therefore, called on government at all levels to create and provide services that cater for all.

This, according to her, include those whose appearance is defined by their belief and obedience to a command from the divine creator.

Cross section of some Muslim women during the press conference at Fou’ad Lababidi Islamic Academy, Abuja.

She emphasised the need for security agencies to adopt new strategy in addressing the security challenges bedevilling the country.

Dindi also emphasised the need for federal and state ministries of education to pay attention to alleged
victimisation of students which has become a recurring decimal in some schools.

“They should guarantee the sanctity of Nigerian laws of freedom of worship, association and expression for all persons, devoid of sentiments.

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“Indeed, redesigning, re-calibrating and refocusing policies, programmes and interventions by institutions and authorities will
only result in widespread success and impact.

“We ask that the ministries take decisive action by issuing and reissuing circulars to schools to remind and caution them to protect the rights of girls and ladies to wear hijab in schools and universities.”

On her part, Firdausa-Aljannah Amasa, called on the National Assembly to enact laws that serve the interest of all citizens, protect the rights and freedom of all.

She also urged NASS to speedily pass the Religious Discrimination (Prohibition, Prevention) Bill, 2021 which passed second reading since March 2021.

“This will prevent the bill from entering the basement of discarded bills. The passage of this one will surely be worthwhile for posterity.”

Amasa also called on the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to introduce an optional set of uniform for Muslim female youth
corps members who desire to wear the hijab.

She added that “young women who never wore shorts in public should not be expected to suddenly do so because they are undergoing
mandatory service to their fatherland.

“NYSC authorities should also set up a monitoring mechanism at orientation camps.

“This will ensure that no youth corps member is denied the right to protect the sanctity of her beliefs by removing her hijab or
forced to wear short nickers.”

NAN reports that the World Hijab Day serves as a global platform to raise awareness about the Muslim womens’ dress code.(NAN)(

Edited by Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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