The First Lady of Nigeria, Hajiah Aisha Buhari; wife of former Vice President, Hajiah Aminah Namadi Sambo; wife of Kebbi State Governor and founder of MedicAid Cancer Foundation, Dr. Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu on Saturday commended the coalition of Nigeria Muslim Women for the successful organisation of this year’s World Hijab Day 2020, which had the theme – ‘Unity in Diversity.’
Dr Bagudu said the event is an apparatus to show how important it is to highlight the dignity that is inherent in observing the Hijab by Muslim women across the world.
Dr. Bagudu, who served as a Special Guest at the event, said that she has been supporting the event by initiating the commemoration of World Hijab Day, since her husband became Governor of Kebbi State.
“I am actually delighted to attend the National commemoration of the World Hijab Day for the first time ever this year as I am usually in Kebbi. “Whilst the women of Kebbi are also marking the day, I am pleased to be here,” she said.
Dr. Zainab Bagudu, who bagged the title of ‘Khadimatud-deen’ (custodian of religious activities), a title bestowed on her by the National Women Da’wah in recognition of her contribution to furthering the cause of Islam, has emphasised the importance of supporting women groups in Islam.
She added that women are the most important part of the community, who play vital roles in different aspects of development.
She encouraged all schools to allow the use of hijab as it is a fundamental human right to dress as one pleases.
Also speaking, the Special of Guest of Honour, wife of the President, Hajia Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the former Amirah (Chairperson), Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), Hajia Maryam Abdullahi, said that it is very important for the entire Muslim Ummah to support the course of Hijab.
She reiterated the need for collective national prayers, for the leaders of the country to excel in all their primary obligations.
Hajiah Amina Namadi Sambo, who has been participating in the World Hijab Day activities for a couple of years since it commenced in Nigeria in 2014, was unavoidably absent but was ably represented by the General Manager, NTA Abuja, Fatima Abbas Hassan.
Hajiah Rukayat Saadu Dindi, the Abuja Coordinator of the HRAI, has noted that Muslims need to speak with one voice as an ummah, adding that there is need for the older generations of Muslims to inspire confidence in themselves and in the younger generations to civilly but firmly resist attempts to deny them of their rights.
Hajiah Rukayat, who is also the Chairman, Media and Publicity Committee for the Abuja World Hijab Day 2020, said this in an exclusive interview with Muslim News.
She recalled the origin of the World Hijab Day, noting that it marks a date in history for the global expression and observance of human dignity irrespective of mode of dressing.
According to her, “World Hijab Day means a lot to me. It is a day that global outreach was made to officially launch the Muslim identity by a brilliant, courageous and outstanding Muslimah, a teenager! She stood firmly for the truth, her identity in spite of societal segregations and discrimination.
“It marks a date in history for the global expression and observance of human dignity irrespective of mode of dressing. It is a day when millions of Muslims across the globe unite to speak with one voice. A day to showcase that we are truly empowered in hijab contrary to the wrong age-long notion, which considers covering Muslimah as being oppressed, barbaric or uncivilized.
Reacting to why Muslim ladies donning Hijab are still victimised despite court orders stating that Hijab is a fundamental right of the Muslim lady, she noted that such cruel resistance must have resulted from Islamophobia, intolerance or bigotry, weak enforcement of law, lack of consequence (punitive measures) to deter contemptuous conduct, inferiority complex, unwillingness to observe federal character – unity in diversity among others.
The HRAI Coordinator further observed that there is need to do more in relation to Hijab advocacy, adding that molestation will stop the day that consequences follow the flagrant disobedience of the existing judicial injunction.
She also emphasized the need for Muslims to speak together as an ummah, and the need to build confidence in themselves and the younger generation, adding that divine intervention should be sought in the struggle.
“We need to speak in one voice as an ummah. We need to inspire confidence in ourselves and our teens and tweens. They should know their rights and civilly but firmly resist any attempt to rip them off those rights.
“We should continue to engage the resistant group. Sensitisation, interreligious talks or interface are in my view considered the way out. Above all, we should always pray for Divine success throughout all these struggles”, she noted.
It will be recalled that 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.
– Additional information from Leadership newspaper