The indefinite postponement of the public hearing on the Firdaus Amasa Hijab case by the House of Representatives Committee came as a rude shock, not only to the Muslim organisations which thronged the National Assembly Complex, Abuja in their hundreds, but also to Nigerian citizens who were glued to their radios, televisions and social media for updates.
To many observers, the development was an indication that the battle between truth and falsehood is real. The Law School vs Firdaus Amasa Hijab case is a battle between decency and indecency, as well as morality and immorality.
Unfortunately, in this country, unclad ladies are free to do so, while those who want to be clad are curtailed and censored!
The most anticipated public hearing slated for Wednesday, March 14 would have been a success story going by the impressive turnout of concerned Muslim organisations, if not for the hitch and the judicial hurdle created by eight Christian lawyers who filed and got a court injunction restraining the House of Representatives from conducting the hearing.
Unfortunately, these seven Christians have no direct business in the case. They aren’t representing the Law School, neither are they representing the Body of Benchers (BOB) – the institution that refused to call Firdaus Amasa to Bar because she refused to remove the “shoulder-length Hijab” she wore to enter the venue of the Call to Bar ceremony.
One would begin to wonder; what is their interest? It is obvious that they want the Muslim women to disbelieve in and disobey their Creator, the same way their own women disobey their Lord and scriptural prescriptions with impunity, for both the Bible and the Qur’an order women to adorn themselves in the Hijab.
Allah says: “O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allaah is Ever Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful”. See also Qur’an 24:30.
Another practical example is a Biblical verse (1 Corinthian 11: 5-6) which states that: “Every woman that prayed or prophesied with her head uncovered dishonoured her head. And if she can’t cover it, let her shave it.” How many Christians follow this injunction? Is this not the same battle Muslims are fighting on their behalf? Or is covering of the hair with the scarf limited to worship times only in Christianity?
Yet, some Christian lawyers exploited the cruel instrument of the law to halt and by extension frustrate the House of Representatives from embarking on the public hearing. They got a restraining order, which was received by the Convener of the public hearing late Tuesday, March 13, at a time many Muslims had already left their various States for Abuja, the venue of the hearing.
The House of Representatives Committee members were initially divided on whether to abide by the frivolous and needless order or not. There was an argument that the Federal High Court ought not to have granted the order because according to them, public hearings are part of legislative procedures and instruments of the legislature and no court has the power to limit the House of Representatives in the performance of its duties.
In addition, there is separation of powers between the three arms of government, in which the legislature; No 2, makes laws, while the judiciary; No 3, interprets the laws. There should be no interference. But the lawmakers hid under the popular belief that “the matter is now in court, let’s respect the judiciary” to justify the postponement midway till further notice.
Sadly, the same lawmakers who couldn’t defend Firdaus Amasa because her matter concerns the Hijab cried foul, saying “the Judiciary can’t stop NASS from carrying out its duties” because an Abuja Federal High Court restrained them from taking steps to pass the Electoral Amendment Bill into law. What hypocrisy!
The postponement was greeted with mixed reactions from Nigerian Muslims, some of whom erroneously believed that this latest move, the second in a month, would bring an end to the struggle for the Hijab in Nigeria. On the contrary, the hundreds of Muslims who honoured the invitation in Abuja have vowed to carry on non-violent advocacy until their right to use the Hijab is respected.
“The struggle continues, no doubt. The determination is real. Nigeria will soon feel our non-violent protests. We would storm every State of the Federation. We won’t stop until the victimisation against our women who want to please their Lord stops. Despite the postponement, we will not relent.”
SUPPORT MUSLIM NEWS NIGERIA
With your generous financial contributions to MUSLIM NEWS, you are helping to sustain a culture of journalistic integrity that promotes tranquil Islamic values and ensures it remains free and available to all.