As the newly designed and launched Hijab for United Kingdom (UK) female Barristers went on sale on Wednesday, March 31, with excitement and commendation, Nigerians have continued to knock the belligerent leadership of Nigerian Christian groups over their staunch hatred and opposition to the Muslim headcover.
Muslim News had earlier reported how two junior Barristers from Doughty Street Chambers, Karlia Lykourgou and Maryam Mir, teamed up to float a range of smart hijabs in white and black colours for advocates to wear in court.
Amy Ford, who lives in London, United Kingdom, hailed the two Muslim advocates for coming up with the initiative, saying, “This is awesome, they look amazing! So pleased to see diversity in our courtrooms, it can only make for better outcomes.”
The use of Hijab, the Muslim headcover, not Niqob (veil), as being mischievously mis-represented by the media, in public and private sectors, including courtrooms, are allowed in the United Kingdom. In May 2020, the former Nigeria colonialist appointed a 41-year old Raffia Arshad as the first hijab-wearing deputy district judge.
The latest news on the UK Hijab has however sparked reactions on social media as many Nigerians slammed the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and other denominations who have not only been vociferous in their hatred and oppositions to the use of Hijab in both public and private establishments in Nigeria, but also gone on violent fitful against innocent school children.
Recall that CAN, an umbrella body for Nigerian Christians instigated its members in Ilorin, Kwara state, to molest and harass Muslim school girls, who willingly chose to adorn the simple and shoulder-length Hijab on their uniforms, in state-owned, former missionary schools.
Commentators who reacted to the UK Hijab story said it’s shocking to see that the British who brought Christianity to Nigeria through colonization are now accommodating the choice of Muslim ladies to use the Hijab in their various institutions, while Nigerian Christians with their collaborators in the media continue to expose prejudice and spread hate message against the Islamic apparel.
“Absolutely stunning”, said Sheikh Tijani Shehu Ayegbami, the leader of an Islamic Organisation in Lagos, while another person, Abdullah Abdul Ganiy, a media commentator based in Ilorin, added, “Hijab is allowed in a country where Muslims are minority, while here in Nigeria, where Muslims are majority, it is problematic to use the Hijab.”
Imam Nojeem Jimoh also posted on his Facebook account, that the, “Newly designed Hijab for UK female barristers went on sale on Wednesday, 31/3/2021, adding that, “With a choice of black or white, the design incorporates the collar and lapels which are part of the traditional barristers’ outfit. Mind you, a female barrister in the UK is equally free to dress in a purely Islamic manner without the traditional lawyer’s outfit. Are you here, Nigerians?”
Imam Jimoh, who leads a Muslim congregation at Light House Mosque, Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria, had during the Ilorin, Kwara Hijab crisis, urged Nigerians to follow the UK example, saying, “Wear it if you wish to. Do not if you don’t want to. The State has more important things to argue over.”
While reacting to the UK Hijab news, the Abuja Coordinator of the Hijab Rights Advocacy Initiative (HRAI), Hajia Ruqoyah Saad Dindi, said, “Here in Nigeria, our hijab-wearing sisters have been told some of these repulsive statements, ‘remove that thing you are wearing’, You are too good to be a Muslim, You are too beautiful to be wearing that thing, Oh you did so well in the interview but the company will NOT engage you except you remove that thing on your head, among others.”
She also related the harassment Muslim women face during data capturing, saying, “the critics of Hijab would say, ‘who will capture you with that thing (Hijab) you’re wearing’. Immigration, FIRS, NIMC have denied some of our sisters access for their biometrics to be captured. Some of our beloved sisters have lost opportunities to travel out on this flimsy ground.
“Others have been denied access to certain public institutions (especially nursing in PUBLIC SCHOOLS) on same ground. To compound it, immunization and ante-natal care were denied some mothers and their kids simply because they adorned hijab. The list is endless. Let’s end #hijabphobia now! Our unity lies in our diversity. Is there is a point calling for unity in the face of sameness?” she added in a post, shared on WhatsApp.
The Christians, in their continuous crusade against the Hijab, also went after the lower chamber of the National Assembly for their move in working on a bill, which seeks to end all forms of harassment including the ones relating to religion (including hijab and Nun habit) in Nigeria.
In what has been considered a desperate move to stop the bill, the global head of the Association of Idol worshippers (ifa priest), otherwise known as the Araba Agbaye, collaborated with the Christian body, calling on the leadership of the National Assembly to suspend the Bill.
Some Nigerian media outfits, including The Punch, which many considered as the leading Islamophobic newspaper and CAN’s mouthpiece and willing tool, also expressed its disapproval of the Bill, in its controversial editorial, entitled, ‘House of reps’ provocative Hijab bill.’
However, the newspaper’s false alarm wasn’t overlooked as Dr. Idris Olabode Badiru, gave a brilliant response, paragraph by paragraph, in a rejoinder, titled; CAN limped in, PUNCH limped out: A rejoinder to The Punch Editorial on the Hijab Bill,’ which was widely circulated across social media platforms.
Why the anti-Hijab crusade being fought by the Nigerian Christians
Investigations carried out by Muslim News Research Team have revealed that the continuous attack of the Hijab by a militant section of Nigerian Christians doesn’t have legal, moral or scriptural backings.
Findings revealed that it’s all borne out of enmity, hatred and age-long unhealthy animosity against Muslims and Islam, the world’s fastest growing religion.
Nigerian Christians see the presence of Muslim students in Hijab as a threat to their expansionist ambitions with special reference to an overwhelming majority Muslim Kwara state, where despite Muslims being the majority of the students in the 10 affected schools, the Christian minorities declared a crusade orchestrated to deny the Muslim pupils their fundamental rights.
While in other States, such as Lagos, Oyo and Ogun States, where the rights of the Muslim girls have been violated, the overzealous Christians administrators hypocritically regard the use of Hijab as a plot by the Muslims to continue a phantom Islamization agenda, screaming “we don’t want Hijab in our schools.”
They, however, ignore the provision of section 38 of the 1999 constitution (amended), as well as the Appeal Court verdicts in favour of the right to use the Hijab, going after innocent children, who have committed no offence other than trying to obey their Creator, Allah, who has ordered them to wear the Hijab”, the report of Muslim News indicated.
‘Hijab is not the problem’
Apart from the fact that the former colonialist, Britain, who brought Christianity to Nigeria, have embraced the Hijab, there is no single verse in all the different versions of the Bible, the Christian Holy Book, where it’s forbidden to adorn the Hijab, long or short.
Rather, copious verses in the old testament, such as Genesis 24:65, and new testament, 1st Corinthians 11:5-6 supported women to use not only the Hijab (headcover), but endorse the use of Niqob, meaning ‘veil’.
For instance, 1st Corinthians 11:6, New International version, says; “For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head.”
Further findings indicated that, while many Christians, especially the new generation churches have abandoned the scriptural backings for modernity, misinterpreting the Bible whimsically, some Christians still adorn the Hijab.
The use of Hijab, for instance, is a common practice among Catholics, the largest Christian denomination in the world, with approximately 1.3 billion members. Many Catholic women, young and old, including their nuns still adorn in different kinds of Hijab (headcovers), emulating Holy Mary, the mother of Jesus, who also appeared in Hijab throughout her life.
The Islamic views…
Our research team also raised concerns over the growing trend in the Arabian and Middle East countries where some Muslim women are also going secular, abandoning their Hijab, a decision that has also been used as evidence by the anti-Hijab tribe in several countries including Nigeria.
A Twitter user @Medhat wrote, with respect to the UK Hijab in court, “What a crazy world, while women in Saudi Arabia and some other middle eastern countries are leaving hijab behind, in the UK, it’s becoming trendy! Hijab is used for political stance not for religion.”
However, Muslim News findings revealed that Hijab, which is now seen as a choice for any willing user, has been made compulsory for “the wives of the Prophet (SAW), his daughters and ALL THE BELIEVING WOMEN” as established in Quran 24:30 and 33:59.
In his book, Hijab and the Nigerian Press, Muslim News Publisher, Rasheed Abubakar, noted that the Hijab is compulsory for Muslim ladies who have attained maturity or better still, who have started experiencing their menstrual cycles which may start at age 10 and beyond.
According to him, “Evidently, going by this Shari’ah h ruling, many primary and secondary school students who are being harassed by the overzealous Christian teachers are within this age category.
“Besides, it is pertinent for young Muslims ladies in this age of complete moral degeneration and almost total collapse of morality, to wear the Hijab without discrimination. Islam has charged parents to teach their children the fundamentals of their Deen (religion) in their formative years.
“Whenever a girl is given birth to in this world, let her be dressed with the Hijab. When she is to follow her parents out, let it be her culture. These are some of the reasons Muslim students should be allowed to wear the Hijab in schools, both public and private, in accordance with their faith and the Nigerian constitutional provisions.”
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