Nigeria Muslims Sue Govt Over Hijab Ban
By Rizwan Khatik - Fri Apr 13, 3:34 am
ABUJA – Muslim lawyers are planning to sue the state government of Nigeria’s largest state of Lagos to reverse a ban on the wearing of hijab at schools.
“The decision to go to court is a culmination of several events that affect Muslims especially the policy that bans our female children from wearing hijab to school,” Barrister Adesina Ishaq of the Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN), told OnIslam.net.
“We feel that Muslims are being denied their right even in a region where they are in the majority.
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“All these things point to the fact that those in authority have something against we Muslims.”
Lagos authorities have banned the wearing of hijab at schools. The Muslim outfit is also outlawed in most south-western states.
Ishaq said talks with the government have failed to convince Lagos authorities to reverse its ban on the Muslim headscarf in schools.
“We were told that our female children can wear hijab up to the gate but they must remove it when entering their school premises,” he said.
“We feel this is an insult and a slap on our constitutionally-guaranteed religious rights as Muslims. So we want the court to resolve the matter.”
Last week, MULAN called on the Lagos government to urgently reverse its ban on the Muslim headscarf.
Ishaq insisted that Muslims are still open for dialogue if the government is willing to rescind “the oppressive and discriminatory” policy.
Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.
The Muslim outfit has been in the eye of storm since France banned it at public schools in 2004.
Since then, several countries have followed suit.