Following the recent violation of the fundamental rights of some Hijab wearing Muslim girls of the International School, Ibadan (ISI), the Muslim Parents Forum of the school has warned its Principal, Mrs Phebean Olowe against harassing and intimidating the Muslim girls for upholding their constitutional right to wear the Hijab.
The body stated that it would use all possible legitimate means to protect the rights of its children.
This position was stated in a release by the body, after some Hijab wearing Muslim girls of the school were on Wednesday and Thursday, July 3 and 4, barred from using the Hijab on their uniforms outside the school gate.
Earlier this week, the principal of the school reportedly warned the girls against using the Hijab on the school uniform within and outside the school.
The release, duly signed by its chairman, Mr Abdur-Rahman Balogun, reads: “Following our tactical withdrawal from the ISI Hijab matter from the State High Court in Ibadan on June 25, 2019, the Principal, through her agents, has embarked on harassment, intimidation and molestation of some of the Muslim girls who took the school to court to enforce their fundamental human rights to wear the Hijab in the school premises.
“The Principal reportedly told the girls at the school assembly on Monday that no one should adorn the Hijab on the school uniform within and OUTSIDE the school premises. We found the directive of the Principal awkward and absurd, especially as it relates to wearing Hijab OUTSIDE the school premises on the school uniform.
“The Principal, however, carried out her threats when on Wednesday, July 3 and Thursday, July 4, some Muslim girls who normally remove their Hijab at the entrance of the school gate were barred from coming to the school some 100 metres from the main gate of the school”.
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Narrating the ordeal of a parent of one of the affected girls, Dr Idris Badiru, Mr Balogun said his daughter met all the financial requirements to access the school but was barred following an instruction from the school principal.
He said: “I took my children to school and parked under the shade beside Idia Hall at about 8.00 am and noticed a small crowd of students gathered about 80 metres or thereabouts away from the school gate. My children promptly informed me that the Accounts section was checking payment clearance before allowing them in. I decided to wait a bit and to my surprise, after checking my daughter’s clearance, the security man and Mr. Odewale of the Accounts section were issuing some instructions, which my daughter was not happy with.
“I therefore moved closer and learnt that they wanted my daughter to remove her Hijab before walking down towards the gate and she refused. I felt enraged as any reasonable man would when his daughter’s honour is violated. Moreover, that space belongs to the University of Ibadan, a Federal institution”.
Mr Balogun said further: “As if that was not enough, we were reliably informed that the Principal, Mrs. Olowe went to the affected girl’s class to embarrass and scold her in the presence of her colleagues.
“We also learnt that the School had hurrriedly put up a Student Disciplinary Panel to try all the girls with the hope of suspending them and later expelling them from the school”.
The MPF therefore called on Nigerians and the necessary authorities to caution the principal over her religious fanatism and the potential to instigate religious crisis in the school.