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We woke up this week to the activities of a school founded by a Muslim popularly known as Alhaja that seems antithetical to Islam. It sounds strange but not surprising because no new thing under the sun.
Gracious Leadsway School is a school in an area in Ijanikin though founded by a Muslim but presently has a Christian as the Principal. But having a Christian as the head is not really the problem. In fact, it seems the Principal is a type that is lenient with religion or just acting to be so.
However, the problem lies in the founder. All activities of the school that claimed not to have religious coloration is denying the Muslim students in the school their right. Let’s start from Assembly case.
My findings revealed that initially in this school, out of the five days in a week, the Muslim only have one day for assembly which is Friday but recently all days are used for Christian oriented assembly without a single exception. This is in a school owned by a Muslim.
One would then be tempted to ask if the assembly is being conducted behind the knowledge of its owner or with her consent. The answer to the question will be clearer soon.
As if the denial of Muslim assembly in a Muslim owned school is not enough, the teaching practice students – teachers therein almost lost their right too. This is because they strictly adhered to the injunction of their Lord – Hijab.
The owner of the school commanded the Hijab wearing students – teachers to reduce their Hijab or leave the school for another because she couldn’t longer accommodate long Hijab wearing sisters. Isn’t this a case of Muslim against Muslim?
It was gathered that the owner of the school told the Principal (a Christian) to deliver her instruction to the affected students – teachers. Out of bashfulness, the Principal could not present the case to those students – teachers because he viewed it as an embarrassment — a Muslim banning Muslims from wearing Hijab. He rather sent for another regular Muslim teacher in the school to communicate the founder’s request which she did.
Believe me, it took two solid days and intervention before those students -teachers could be allowed to stay. Her stance and slogan then was: ‘cut the Hijab short or leave my school.’ When those students – teachers requested for an official letter stating the reasons for their rejection, she could not produce it. But why? Her conscience knows it is a baseless argument. She also knew the repercussion the rejection letter could bring to her school.
Let’s also look at religious studies in the school. As well structured as the school is, it is pathetic that there is no single Islamic teachers to teach Muslim students Islamic Religious Studies (IRS) in the school. I mean no single Islamic teachers were employed. The Christians on the other hand are offering Christian Religious Studies. In fact, from what we gathered, Muslim students are encouraged to partake in the Christian Religious Studies since no teacher to teach them Islam. It is like a Muslim building a school to destroy Islam, isn’t a Muslim against Muslim?
What about Jumat service and fellowship in the school? You will agree with me that the story is not different. The Christians do have weekly ‘Fellowship’ every Friday while presently the Muslim had no Islamic activities. This is a school owned by a Muslim.
But then, why will someone compromised his or her religion? The answer is not far from the mouth. The school, though founded by a Muslim has larger percentage of Christians and Igbos. Because of this, can we now say she nurture fear of losing students or being accused of Islamising the school? And even if she lost students on the course of protecting her Religion, isn’t better thsn the melodrama we are seeing now?
This is a question everyone should reflect upon.