The mosque inside Bishop Smith Memorial College, GRA, Ilorin, Kwara State was reportedly demolished on Monday by aggrieved youths believed to be Christian fanatics who are protesting against the use of Hijab in government-owned schools.
The video of the demolished mosque where the students and staff of the school observe daily salat was posted on social media on Tuesday by an Ilorin-based Islamic scholar, Mallam Lukman Isalekoto.
In the 7 minutes, 25 seconds video which went viral, Mal. Isalekoto showed the remains of the demolished mosque, which he said was destroyed by hoodlums suspected to be members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
The controversial Christian body had earlier kicked against the Kwara State government directive to allow any willing student to use Hijab following the law, calling on its members to occupy all the affected 10 public schools, formerly owned by the missionaries.
Mal. Isalekoto said, “This is Bishop Smith Memorial Mosque in Ilorin. It was destroyed yesterday by one of the hoodlums with the representative of CAN and other people. They came to the school, forced the students to leave over the use of Hijab, and then, demolished the mosque, took away their prayer mats, and blocked their ablution centre.
Muslim News correspondent, who visited the school at GRA area of Ilorin on Tuesday, confirmed the authenticity of the video, saying the mosque was completely razed in by the suspected members of CAN.
A high-ranking official of the school who preferred anonymity due to civil servants rule said it’s true that the mosque was demolished, but added that it was not certain when it was destroyed.
The official told Muslim News that the students and staff of the school resumed work today (Tuesday) to see that the mosque has been destroyed, saying that it was probably after the school activities were disrupted yesterday by some Christians protesting against the use of Hijab.
According to him, “some Christians came to disrupt school activities. Classes were ongoing when they came, shouting ‘we don’t want Hijab in our school.’ This is a government school, we told them but, we couldn’t control them when they started removing Hijab from the Muslim students. We decided to end classes around 12:30/1 pm yesterday.
“So this morning, on getting to work we discovered that the mosque has been destroyed. It wasn’t destroyed when we were in school. They did the cruel act when we were forced to vacate the school premises. We suspected that the Christian protesters came to the school later to destroy the mosque,” he added.
The official told Muslim News around 12: 57 pm on Tuesday that the vandalisation didn’t affect their classes as the students, including female Muslims in Hijab and their counterparts in berets, are being attended to without discrimination.
By Mus’ab Sulaiman/Ilorin
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