The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos State Area Unit has asked Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to stop hijab harassment and religious discrimination in schools.
The Amirah (female president) of MSSN Lagos, Basheerah Majokodunmi, lamented that despite the Appeal Court’s ruling granting the use of hijab in the state, many state actors were harassing and intimidating Muslim students in various schools.
She said this at the sideline of a press conference on the 2021 World Hijab Day at Alausa Secretariat Mosque, Lagos.
She specifically asked the state government to implement and create awareness on the circular asking principals and teachers not to punish hijab-wearing students in-line with the ruling of the Court of Appeal.
“As we were adjudged being on the right side of justice, it is believed that no government functionary having been properly briefed of the said judgment would take laws into his/her hands by discriminating against Muslim students and forcefully removing their hijab.
“This is a denial of fundamental human right, breach of right to dignity and right to freedom of association as spelt out by section 34 and 40 of 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
“We want Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to use his good office to put an end to religious discrimination in Lagos State once and for all before things worsen.
“The cases of hijab harassment have not stopped despite being law-abiding by going to the court of law to regain our right. Our expectation is that the government would be more interested in peace by ensuring that the rights of Muslim students are not denied as enshrined in the constitution.
“Since schools resumed after the COVID-19 break, many of our students are harassed and intimidated for using hijab. For instance, at Technical School, Ikorodu, the principal has erroneously ruled that no student should use hijab as the Principal up till now disallowed students from using the hijab.
Also, at Stadium Senior High School, Surulere, authorities have illegally refused to allow students to wear their hijab.”
The hijab rights activist also appealed to corporate organisations to set prejudice aside and allow females to participate actively in their chosen careers without fear of being pulled back, victimised, or abused based on their choice of attire.
“The hijab does no harm to anyone, it is only logical that Muslims are allowed their fundamental right to Religion. It is unfair to deny people willing to cover their nudity and do nothing to those who shamefully expose their bodies online and on the streets,” she added.