Hijab Crisis: Parliament’s intervention will douse tension – MURIC
Professor Ishaq Akintola, Director Muslim Right Concern (MURIC)
London, Dec. 21, 2017 (AltAfrika)-A faith based group in Nigeria, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has commended the country’s House of Representatives over its intervention in the crisis that emanated from the barring of a law graduate of the University of Ilorin, AbdulSalaam Firdaus Amasa, from ‘call to bar’ ceremony by the Nigerian Law School over her insistence to wear her head cover under the wig.
Sensing that the sensitive issue could degenerate into a national crisis, the parliament directed its Committee on Justice and Judiciary to look into the matter with a view to settling the matter amicably.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), in a statement signed by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, commended the honourable members of the House for taking the step which it described as, “laudable, timely, germane and altruistic,” enthusing that, “the step is also capable of dousing tension over the issue.”
While commending the honourable member from Kano State, Abubakar Danburam-Nuhu, who raised the historical motion accusing the Law School of infringing on Amasa’s fundamental rights, MURIC, called the attention of the Committee saddled with the task of unearthing the truth about this matter to the fact that AbdulSalaam Firdaus Amasa was not the only female Muslim law graduate whose Allah-given fundamental human right was violated on that day and at that event.
According to the statement, MURIC stated that, “all the female Muslim law graduates who wore hijab to the event were forced to remove their hijab but one of them, Aisha Zubair by name, was treated like an ordinary criminal and subjected to public disgrace”.
The statement reads further thus: “She suffered serious psychological trauma which still haunts her to date as a result of being forced to appear ‘half nude’ in public. We must add here that an average female Muslim who is used to wearing hijab is naturally sensitive to being made to appear in public without it. It breaks them down emotionally.”
The statement quote her saying “My name is Aisha Zubair, I was called to the Nigerian bar on the 12th day of December, 2017 in the morning. Myself and some other sisters were on the queue together to enter the hall. At the entrance, the law school lecturer there demanded for our hijab, she asked that we remove both the hijab and the cap and give it to her. She demanded Same of those wearing ordinary cap too. We begged to go and remove it properly in the toilet and she obliged. We were allowed to enter only when we had removed everything from our heads. When I went to my seat, I donned the hijab back on but I was approached about twice to remove the hijab, as other sisters were approached too.
“When the programme started, I put it back on, tucked it into the collarrete and placed the wig on it. When it was my turn to be called to the stage, I approached the stage with the hijab on, took a bow like everyone else but did not shake the hands of the bencher there. I was given my certificate like everyone else and I proceeded to my seat.
“When I got to my seat, a law school lecturer was waiting there and she started shouting at me and hurling insults at me for daring to wear the hijab in the hall saying I wanted to disgrace them. She demanded I remove the hijab and throw it on the floor which I did, then she started to rub the hijab on the floor, then she kicked it around several times before asking a guard to guard the hijab and not allow me retrieve it.
“Then she came back with another lecturer to seize the certificate I had just collected from me saying it was order from above for doing what I did. I begged but they didn’t listen. After the ceremony, I went to them and after so much pleas I was given back the certificate with a stern warning.” End of quote.
While expressing serious objection to the treatment of Aisha Zubair, MURIC described it as, “tyrannical, repressive and horrible.”
“We therefore urge the Committee on Justice and the Judiciary to consider this information during its investigations. The lecturer who traumatized this lady must be fished out and punished according to the law of the land. She has subjected Aisha Zubair to public opprobrium, inflicted emotional injury on her and assaulted her personal dignity. This action violates Section 34 (i) (a) of the 2011 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).”
MURIC said the alleged attacker has provoked all Nigerian Muslims by treating the hijab in such a contemptuous manner, saying it is a hate action capable of igniting a monumental religious crisis which outcome no one can predict.
The statement concluded that, “only due punishment can satisfy Nigerian Muslims and calm frayed nerves,” asserting that, “Nigerians look unto the Committee to save them from religious fanatics who stoke the embers of war.”
The group therefore appealed to Nigerians who have been provoked by this ugly incident to exercise patience and wait for the House Committee on Justice and the Judiciary to submit its report just as it urged members of the Committee to discharge their duties dispassionately and without fear or favour, warning that, Nigerians are waiting.