The Muslim Students Society of Nigeria, MSSN, Lagos State Area Unit, has called on the Lagos State Government to urgently issue a circular on last Friday’s ruling of the Supreme Court approving the use of hijab in public schools.
The Muslim students body also urged the State government to caution its officials against harassing Muslim females wearing the hijab
The Amir (president), Miftahudeen Thanni, while speaking at a press conference held in Lagos on Wednesday, explained that issuing the circular would curb “overzealous” teachers and principals from contempt of court.
He said, “This is not to castigate the Lagos State Government but to appeal for the prompt implementation of the Supreme Court judgement.
“We waited patiently to get the judgement and we were lawful throughout. During this period, we consulted, collaborated, protested, held rallies and sensitised government officials on why a willing Muslim female should be allowed to put on the hijab.”
Recall that after about 10 years of legal tussle, the Supreme Court on Friday, July 17, 2022, approved the wearing of hijab by female Muslim students to school in Lagos State.
The majority decision affirmed the earlier Court of Appeal’s decision which restored the use of hijab by female Muslim students in Lagos State.
Displeased with the judgement, the Lagos State Government attempted to obtain a stay of execution of the Court of Appeal’s decision but failed.
In November 2018, the Lagos State Government issued an earlier circular to all principals of public secondary schools instructing them to allow students.
Miftahudeen said, “When the Lagos State Government issued the circular, we thought relief had come, but it is utterly unfortunate that some school authorities and some defective teachers are working against the circular. They are interested in ultimately jeopardising law and order.
“Instead of obeying the circular, some school principals, vice-principals and teachers feign ignorance of the approval of Hijab in Lagos State, and desperately began to deal with our members.
“For no reason should a girl-child be denied education again in Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole!
“The images of Muslim students sent out of the examination hall for wearing hijab touch the heart and consistently bring tears to the eyes. We do not want this to recur. The education of the girl-child is very paramount in our hearts. No Muslim girl should ever be told to choose between her faith and education. Both are her rights.
“We demand that the Lagos State Government should issue a circular within 30 days after the delivery of the judgement allowing Hijab. The Lagos State Government should sanction officials who go against the Supreme Court judgment and hold a meeting with MSSNLagos, Muslim leaders and other Islamic organisations on the size and modalities of using the hijab.”
On her part, Asiyat AbdulKareem, who sued the Lagos State Government, urged that victimisation of Muslim students should stop.
“We suffered to get this judgement and it is my hope that it will be an end to the victimisation someone like me suffered,” he said.
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