All is set for the largest gathering of Muslim women in Nigeria as no fewer than 10 leading Muslim women organisations will be teaming up to stage yet another historic World Hijab Day 2020, which has become a potent tool to create global awareness about the victimisation of Muslim women who wear the Hijab in Nigeria.
World Hijab Day was first introduced on February 1, 2013 by Nazma Khan, a Bangladeshi Muslimah in New York and more than 140 countries, including Nigeria have been using the platform for Hijab advocacy, calling on governments to end the increasing assault on Muslim girls in their various schools.
This year’s edition, tagged, Unity in Diversity is taking another dimension as several Muslim Women Organisations will be pooling resources together to stage spectacular events simultaneously on Saturday, February 1, 2020 across Nigeria.
The organisations are Ansar-ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Nasrul-lahi-li Fathi Society of Nigeria (NASFAT), Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN), Al-Mu’minaat (The Believing Women Organisation), the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria and the convener, Hijab Rights Advocacy Initiative (HRAI).
Other organisations that have endorsed the event and signed up to be part of the World Hijab Day 2020 with dedicated hashtag #LagosHijabwalk, are The Criterion, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC), Nigeria, Guild of Muslim Professionals (GMP) and Pristine Cactus Foundation, among others.
Muslim News investigations revealed that this year’s edition will be declared open on Friday, January 31st with a World Press Conference by the coalition, which will have the representatives of all the collaborative groups. The press briefing will be held at at Bugudu Kaltho Press Centre Alausa Ikeja, Lagos to herald the 2020 World Hijab Day.
As a media partner to the event, this medium is also privy to the details of the activities of the D-Day on Saturday, February 1st at four major centres expected to be attended by hundreds of thousands of Muslim ladies and students of secondary schools and tertiary institutions.
In Lagos, for instance, the Hijab solidarity walk will take place simultaneously from Maryland to the open space of the Gani Fawehinmi Park, Ojota; another one, from Roundabout Bus stop, Otto to Cele Bus stop, Ijanikin, Ojo. While in Ogun State, a similar walk will kickstart from Ansar-ud-deen Primary School Praying Ground to Sango Underbridge, Otta. Other centres will be revealed later.
In an exclusive chat with Muslim News, Barrister Mutiat Orolu-Balogun of Hijab Rights Advocacy Initiative, said, “The walk is aimed at sensitizing the society on the Hijab and laying to bare the persecutions Muslim sisters face in schools and other public places for wearing the Hijab.
Speaking on the choice of the theme, Orolu said, “This year’s theme is ‘Unity in Diversity’. It just calls us back to what Allah Himself called us to in the Qur’an. We may be different but what unites us is Islam. And the issue of the Hijab affects all Muslim women regardless of the association you belong to. Hence, we decided to collaborate in order to address this issue.
“Unity in Diversity is what Allah calls us to. He has told us in Suratul Hujuraat that it is He that created us from a single pair and then made us into nations and tribes.”
The most honourable in His sight is the most pious. Hence, regardless of whatever association we choose to belong to, what really matters is if you are pious. When we come together, our goals are more achievable.
According to her, “This synergy will make our message and advocacy to be far-reaching. More awareness will be created and people will be more aware and not be intimidated into giving up their rights. They’ll know the matter and can contribute positively to the society. Hence, it will abate this assault of our children so that we all can focus on building the society