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The Muslim Right Concern (MURIC) has warned some school authorities in Ojo local government of Lagos State over forcing female Muslim students to remove their hijab before taking pictures meant for the 2019 West African Examination Council (WAEC) registration despite approval of Hijab by the state government.
This warning was contained in a press release signed by Professor Ishaq Akintola, Director of MURIC on Thursday, 6th December 2018 and obtained by Ojo Medialine.
The Muslim rights body mentioned names of affected schools where the female Muslim students were allegedly being asked to remove their hijab to partake in WAEC registration process in Ojo (Education District V) of the state. These schools are Oto-Awori Senior Grammar School, Government Secondary School, Ijanikin, Iba Housing Estate Senior Secondary School, Iba and Ajangbadi Senior High School, Afromedia.
This act was described as an oppression of the female Muslim students and religious intolerance.
“It is very unfortunate that this crude attitude is manifesting in 21st century Lagos. It is retrogressive, archaic and anachronistic. The school principals and teachers involved should be ashamed of themselves,” the statement reads in part.
“What crime has the Muslim girl-child committed? How does the hijab harm any teacher? Is it an amulet? Is it a weapon of mass destruction? Why must it be the South-West every time? The University of Ibadan International School has locked out all female Muslim students who wear hijab for the past two weeks thereby denying the girl child education which is critical to her intellectual growth.
“Teachers of Araromi Senior High School, Sari-Iganmu, Lagos State also went berserk on Wednesday, 21st November 2018, sending all hijab-wearing students out of the school despite the LASG directive which clearly prohibited such action. Who is afraid of the hijab?
“We are calling the Lagos State Government’s (LASG) attention to the illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional activities of these reactionary elements. They should be called to order. These are rebellious teachers and enemies of peace. It should be noted that the action of these teachers is capable of disturbing public peace. We hope Lagos is listening.
“We will not allow teachers to give our children illegal instructions. It is illegal instruction to ask a female Muslim student to remove her hijab for any reason whatsoever. LASG has approved the use of hijab in all public schools and it was widely publicized. Principals and teachers are paid public servants and they should obey the government’s instruction.
“We urge all Islamic organizations in the country, particularly the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) to rise to the occasion. The Muslim girl-child has become an endangered species today and we must all wake up to our responsibility to protect her. We must not disappoint her. The girl-child is our daughter, our sister, our wife and our mother. Nobody will protect her if we fail to speak up today. Islamic organizations are hereby advised to set up monitoring committees that will visit all the schools around their vicinity. They are however cautioned on the need to avoid violence at all cost.
“We call on LASG to walk its talk. Female Muslim children need the government’s protection from the excesses of fanatical Christian principals and teachers. We charge civil society, particularly human rights groups to speak up. Muslims are human beings too and we deserve human rights. Where are the human rights lawyers? Let them speak up now or shut up forever.”