The 2022 World Hijab Day gathered more momentum in Nigeria, as 20 Muslim groups formed a coalition to celebrate the special day with a lineup of activities.
Muslim News findings revealed that 15 Muslim bodies took part in the 2021 edition of the annual awareness programme, which serves as a means of advocacy for the Rights of Muslim women to wear their Hijab.
Held every February 1st, World Hijab Day has become a symbolic part of the world’s history, with well over 140 nations showing solidarity with the oppressed Muslim girls and women by wearing the hijab on this day.
“This year’s theme is Hijab is my crown and not a crime”, the convener of the Coalition of Muslim women organisations in Nigeria, Hajiah. Mutiat Orolu-Balogun told journalists at the Alausa Central Mosque Hall, Lagos, one of the venues of the World Hijab Day in Nigeria.
Alhaja Orolu-Balogun, the Director of Hijab Rights Advocacy Initiatives, HRAI, said the theme could not have come at a better time as Muslim women are being harassed, abused , nd treated like criminals for wearing the hijab.
“The Hijab is a divine garment, prescribed for Muslim women as a means of worship and identity. It is thus always a show of crass ignorance when some people try to ‘convince’ Muslim women, that our dressing is just an appropriation of the Arab culture or a protection from harsh desert conditions and thus has no use or need to be worn.
According to her, “we see that in Nigeria, for the past few months, women in hijab and niqab are being treated as if they are criminals. For instance, in the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), they listed the niqab as a lousy and an indecent dress. If the niqab is not a dress that conforms to high morality, I don’t know what else will be.
“We have to let them know it is a crown not a crime. It is Allah that has chosen this dress for us. It is an honor that we as Muslim women are chosen by Allah to wear the hijab. Everywhere we turn to as Muslim women, we are being punished for wearing the hijab. Even when you want to register a SIM card or register for an examination. They treat the hijab as a crime,” she added.
Muslim News gathered that no fewer than 20 organisations from all over Nigeria came together to demand what is due to all Muslim women and girls. They are:
- Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria Lagos state Area Unit
- Nasrul-lahi-li Fathi Society of Nigeria (NASFAT)
- Al Muminaat (The Believing Women) Organisation
- Hijab Rights Advocacy Initiative
Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN Lagos)
- Muslim Public Affairs Centre ( MPAC)
- Guild of Muslim Professionals ( GMP)
- Lagos Secretariat Community Central Mosque ( LSCCM)
- Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
- Pristine Cactus Foundation
- The Criterion
- International Muslim Women Union (IMWU)
- Pure Heart Islamic Foundation (PHF Lagos)
- Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria
- Obafemi Awolowo University Muslim Graduates Association ( Unifemga)
- Islamic Medical association of Nigeria ( IMAN)
- Women in Dawah
- Izarul Haq Movement of Nigeria
Earlier, the coalition had on Sunday, January 30th, organised a webinar, featuring three erudite speakers; Hon. Justice Abdurraheem Ahmad Sayi gave a presentation on ‘Hijab under the Shariah and Nigerian law’. The second lecture was on ‘Biometrics, Identity and Hijab’ taken by a Director from the West African Examination Council (WAEC).
Alhaja Rofiah Idowu Sanni, the National Ameerah of the Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN) also gave a goodwill message that centred around ‘Hijab is my crown and not a crime’ which was the theme for this year’s world hijab day founded 10 years ago by Nazma Khan.
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