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Appeal Court in Lagos to Deliver Judgment on Wearing of Hijab to School Today

BellaNaija.com

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http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-headshot-beautiful-black-african-woman-hijab-image19042949The Court of Appeal in Lagos will today deliver judgment on a suit filed two 15-year-old girls against the ban on the usage of Hijab (Muslim Headscarf) by children in public primary and secondary schools, Vanguard Reports.

The government had banned the use of Hijab on the argument that it was not part of the approved school uniform for pupils.

Consequently, two girls (12-year-old at the time) under the aegis of the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos Area Unit, filed a suit on May 27 2013 at an Ikeja High Court challenging the decision of the state.

Justice Modupe Onyeabor dismissed the suit on October 17 2014, saying that the prohibition of the wearing of Hijab over school uniforms within and outside the premises of public schools was not discriminatory.

The judge said Section 10 of the Constitution made Nigeria a secular state and that government must maintain neutrality at all times.

The students and the Registered Trustees of MSSN appealed the judgment, and today, a special 5-man panel led by Justice A.B Gumel will give judgment on the case. The panel had previously reserved its judgement on Friday, May 27.

Others on the panel are Justice M. Fasanmi, Justice A. Jauro, Justice J.S. Ikejegh and Justice Jombo Ofor.

This is coming after Justice Jide Falola of the Osun State High Court on Friday, June 3rd ruled that female Muslim students in public schools in the state have the right to wear hijab to school.

Falola ruled in favour of the plaintiff in a legal action instituted by the Osun State Muslim Community and the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) in 2013.

Following the judgment, the  Osun State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) instituted a stay of execution at the Appeal Court in the state.

The June 3 judgment sparked protests in Osun state where Christian students were ordered by their leaders to put on robes and other church uniforms to school.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

 

41 Comments

  1. Prince

    July 21, 2016 at 10:16 am

    If hijab isn’t part of the school uniform why wear it to school. That’s going against the school rules. I dont know what the problem of this evil sect called Islam is. They’ll always look for a way to start quarrel.
    If hijab is allowed. All my Cele brothers and sisters, Cherubim and Seraphim, Olumba Olumba and the likes should wear the garments to school also.

    • whocares

      July 21, 2016 at 10:49 am

      This your comment is sooo simplistic. Come, let me show a peek of the other side of the fence. Nigeria is a secular state yes, however, religion is a matter of privacy and I believe the Nigerian constitution protects against discrimination based on religion.
      It is arguable that the Hijab is not a part of the school uniform, however, wearing the Hijab is an ingrained part of some muslim women’s life that they feel naked without it. It would be like the government passing law that women should not wear pant before they leave their homes. That is just an unnecessary intrusion dont you think? Now, the hibaj is not to be confused with the veil- which obscures facial features. In this age of high security alert, I can understand why governments might want to pass laws that prohibit women wearing a veil that does not reveal their facial features (the same argument as above could be applied in this situation, however reasons for protection of the general public would explain why such a law is necessary). You cannot equate this with female church goers. The suttana and other white garments are not considered important to their identity. They wear it once every Sunday or mid week service if they go and that is it. So to use that analogy as a point for counter argument is at best stupid.
      Why is it necessary to have a law prohibiting wearing of hijab in schools? Has it been shown that hijabs are now a security threats and students use it to strange their fellow classmates and teachers alike? Is knowing the colour of a student’s hair an integral part of security? What general public purpose or service does this law serve? That is the first question you should ask yourself whenever you are posed with issues or in situations such as this. How does it protect the public. If the answer available to you is limited or nonsensical, then you will arrive at a conclusion that suggests that the law is discriminatory, and you will then be able to hold your government accountable. I hope the court of appeal reach the right decision here

    • aurora

      July 21, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      see where you are wrong, from hijabs it becomes burka then something else. maybe total abandonment of school uniforms.. the schools should put their foot down, it is not part of the uniform. i remember in secondary school and primary school, we were not even allowed to wear a different cardigan from the school cardigans. thats what uniform means.. uniformity everyone looks the same

    • whocares

      July 21, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      @Aurora- what does your sweater have to do with a hijab? when you were born, was your sweater put on you and made a near permanent fixture of your life? Or when its hot and 32 degrees outside do you still wear your sweater? Analogies. If you must use analogies, be smart about it. I am done with most of you here.

    • Biker Chic

      July 21, 2016 at 1:13 pm

      @whocares, GTFO. What is this arrogant statement you jus made? Are we not all here to exchange views? Stop acting as if you are the headmistress on this matter.

    • Blessedheart

      July 21, 2016 at 1:26 pm

      My exact thoughts

    • ElessarisElendil

      July 21, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      The way I view it is different. I’m sure you can remember a time when Hijabs weren’t as ubiquitous, its increasing spread indicates an increase in conservative Islam which in a country like Nigeria is bound to cause problems. Better the state heads off future tensions by ensuring a uniform dress code.

      Besides the argument can be made that children aren’t making the decision to wear hijab, their parents are forcing it on them. Also lest we forget the hijab is also a symbol of oppression for the millions of Muslim women living in countries where they are forced to wear it, we ought not condone it here where there is a choice….at least in theory.

      Nobody is preventing an adult Muslim woman from following her faith or Muslims from sending their kids to an Islamic school, public displays of religion however has no place in a Public school.

    • whocares

      July 21, 2016 at 2:36 pm

      @Bikerchic- Thank you for the oh so intelligent contribution to the conversation.

      @ E.E. – I understand your point of view, but I still don’t agree with it wholly. Students have not just being wearing hijabs, they have been wearing it since time immemorial (I hate to rely on arguments that have to do with tradition, but lets start with that) Now, for this to change, there has to be a good reason. Nigeria, cannot all of a sudden remember in 2016 that it is a secular state. That is hypocrisy. Top politicians still go to the clergy for political support during elections, we have had too many law changes that parrot “it is against our morality”- religion begats moral standards (dont quote me on this, but mostly so) so religion does play a huge role in our country. If the change is to confront the rising “fanatically extreme islamism” how is this the right thing to do? Like I said before, there has to be a staunch reason and one that supports that is for security. Wearing a hijab does not pose a security threat. Also, one should ask, shouldn’t the laws passed nowadays aim to unite people as opposed to pick out a group?
      Secondly, as to oppression, I know hijabis that will fight you tooth and nail about that and the solution to this oppression should not be banning hijabs. That is artificial. You want to fight oppression, then approve of laws that promote equity which was spectacularly turned down by the senate! This is a circus I tell you. lol.

    • Engoz

      July 21, 2016 at 4:29 pm

      Whocares, you raise good points.
      Is it necessary to me as a Christian that someone is wearing a hijab or not? It’s not actually. I’m quite indifferent. Growing up, there were kids that wore hijab to school and nobody cared. I guess the rising terrorism levels is scaring everyone out of their wits’ ends.

    • Caphie

      July 21, 2016 at 11:03 pm

      You didn’t just say that Prince, no need to go all offensive against someone else’s religion, hijab is part of the school uniforms in all federal government colleges, not just that, beret is worn to church by lots of women in Nigeria and its acceptable not just acceptable self, compulsory to wear it in some schools . that’s not fair . a child should choose whether to wear beret or hijab , I say no to banning it. And FYI,we ain’t terrorist . get that straight

    • anonymous

      July 22, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      Yes until one of you explodes in an open market place

  2. keke driver

    July 21, 2016 at 10:48 am

    “It was, It Is, and will NEVER be part of the approved school uniform for pupils”…sorry Muslims, but y’all have to lose at least for once….#JustSaying

  3. .................

    July 21, 2016 at 11:19 am

    What is all this drama about? muslims shaaa like to bring up issues, if you want your child to wear ijab there are muslim schools nao abi kini wahala? take them to where they can wear ijab, be eleha, wear socks and it wouldnt cause any ish. But you like fight so………………….

  4. bolu

    July 21, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Very ignorant comments up there, the hijab is part of their identity and should be made a part of the school uniform, if the school finds it unruly they can specify the colour and style of the hijab, i went to a catholic school and even the muslims wore hijabs just had to be a certain length and colour and i have schooled in nigeria and in london.
    It is very discriminatory you might as well say you do not admit muslims nonsense.
    PS for those that have something to say, I am a Christain.
    Nigerians have a big islamophobia they need to get rid of

    • Cindy

      July 21, 2016 at 11:52 am

      You can’t blame Nigerians for having islamophobia….. whose fault is that? Please miss me with that political correctness nonsense. If they can’t boldly call out their fanatics and fundamentalists, we’ll do it for them.

    • Bolu

      July 21, 2016 at 12:43 pm

      question abeg when that nigerian tried to blow up a plane in america, we were quick to say that ‘NIGERIANS ARENT TERRORISTS’ we were quick to say that it was an isolated incident and they shouldn’t paint us with the same brush. who travelled around that time and was ticked off when they looked at your nigerian passport twice.
      the topic above is about young girls not able to live out their beliefs not about terror but somehow we are quick to equate islam to terror. treat each person on an individual basis, not based on their gender, tribe, religion/sector of belief.

    • LemmeRant

      July 21, 2016 at 8:54 pm

      @Bolu

      You think if that incident happened over and over again like the ones we have here, Nigeria would not be blacklisted. Infact it doesn’t even need to happen over and over again. It just needs to happen a second time. It happened for the first time ever and Nigeria was very close to being blacklisted by the US.

      The problem I have with Moslems are the so called “good moslems.” It is your duty as a moslem to defend your faith. Which means to stand up to anybody who uses your religion shamefully, but do they?

      They sit there and ignore it as if they don’t see whats going on. The only time you hear of these “good moslems” are times like this when other people are criticizing their religion. But to stand to against the real problem lailai.

      Just take a look at how Saudi Arabia has ignored everything going on in Syria. So far their country is not being blown up, they’re uninterested. That is the role of these so called “good moslems.”- Just there. dormant and useless.

      So yes. Cindy is very correct when she says
      “You can’t blame Nigerians for having islamophobia….”

      So I’ll ask again. Who’s fault is it?

    • Prof Tanmolar

      July 21, 2016 at 2:04 pm

      Bolu….. i love people who judge properly. Honest and sincerity matters so much
      I wouldn’t have comment but you are too honest. I love that

    • Peaches77

      July 21, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      Talking about analogies, you went to a “catholic school” not public school. And this isn’t about Muslim schools right? You see the difference?

      “the hijab is part of their identity and should be made a part of the school uniform”
      Again no, not for all Muslim young girls. There are a good number of Muslim girls that do not start wearing hijab until they are 18.

  5. Iyaibo

    July 21, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Imagine if the new school uniforms in Nigeria required you to wear micro mini skirts, how would you feel? Th idea is to take into consideration what Muslim students consider modesty and incorporate it in the school uniform that is not a strictly Christian school. I am a Christian but I can imagine if the school uniform contravenes my religious beliefs.
    We should all remember: If we keep quiet when they come for our neighbors, people will be silent when they come for us.

  6. The Bull

    July 21, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    Olumba Olumba nko and what of cherubim and seraphim shouldn’t they incorporate their own?

  7. FasholasLover

    July 21, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    I will be very surprised if the law passes. If the hijab is not part of the school uniform as prescribed by the school, no hijab. I believe it is that simple. This has nothing to do with Islamophobia. As a matter of fact, it is also very simple. Unnecessary latitude ends up complicating issues than they should ordinarily be.

    My cousins went to one of the numerous St. Louis Schools. One of the best Catholic missionary schools in those days before they were taken over by Govt’. The school admitted children from all religions. Parents actually desired their daughters to go to a St. Louis school. You accept the admission, you conform. Yes, nothing says change is bad, but, this is an issue that is bound to open a flood gate of unnecessary demands in a country where religion is very sensitive. At that age, most girls cannot be bothered whether they wear the hijab or not. That is not to say there are no young people who are self aware regarding the import of religion in their lives. But, mostly, it is the parents desire/wishes that children defer to at that age. When children are in school (teachers), will be in loco parentis.

    Regardless of what other countries allow, school rules are clear and for the safety and peace of mind of all parties they are not and should not be negotiable as far as uniforms are concerned. The school prescribes, you accept admission, you conform.

    • Bolu

      July 21, 2016 at 12:47 pm

      are they hiding something in their hijabs for the required peace of mind. If the school says yes im a Christain school that doesnt admit other religions then yes they should not admit muslims at all, if you are so scared of the security of your kids better go buy transparent backpacks for all the kids at school, peace of mind kini. thats how youll start teaching children intolerance of others from a young age.

    • FasholasLover

      July 21, 2016 at 1:01 pm

      @Bolu, this has nothing to do with teaching children intolerance. For the avoidance of doubt, the definition of ‘Uniform’ amongst others is ” Always the same, as in character or degree” You refuse to conform, send your child to a school that will allow your wish. Simple. I refuse to be PC on this.

    • i agree

      July 21, 2016 at 1:32 pm

      exactly fashola lover @bolu is going off point, if they insist on wearing the hijab then they should go to schools that allow hijab and stop forcing this islam thing in our throats pls. Where will u see a nun sue for not letting one of them wear their outfit? they have their school to avoid issues like this. Muslims pls take several seats.
      @Bolu i am sure you arent a christian

  8. Oma

    July 21, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    If your kid must wear hijab, send him or her to a Muslim school, it is simple really. Why do we like complicated?

  9. Naijatalk

    July 21, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Can people also be allowed to dress in their traditional clothes to school because it is their identity, culture is part and parcel of who they are so why not represent their identity even at school.
    Will private schools be mandated to enforce this, if these girls win their case? Can the government permit this? I hope not; government cannot afford the impression of appearing to endorse a form of religious practice.

  10. Linda

    July 21, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Please no hijab in schools it doesnt make sense. with the way things are going in this country, one day now someone will form islamic extremist and open fire on people without hijab as it will be easy for them to know those that are muslims and those that are not muslims. Please schools should be neutral abeg

    • ATL's finest

      July 21, 2016 at 7:33 pm

      @ Linda/Uju stick to one name biko.
      As for me, if u say u are a chronic Islamic child & u must cover your hair, just kindly send your child to Islamic schools after all, they’re all over the Country. I can’t blame schools for not letting it be part of their uniforms. Besides, the rate at which a lot is going wrong in the society/world; one ve got to be careful cuz u can’t trust these folks.
      It breaks my heart to sound like this because I know not all Muslims are dangerous & evil. They have GREAT ones amongst them & I’ve a lot of then as friends to be honest. So let them follow school protocol end of discussion.

  11. Uju

    July 21, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Please no hijab in schools it doesnt make sense. with the way things are going in this country, one day now someone will form islamic extremist and open fire on people without hijab as it will be easy for them to know those that are muslims and those that are not muslims. Please schools should be neutral abeg

  12. unadite

    July 21, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Hijab to non Muslim schools? Tarr! Soon they would start requesting for prayer times during classes, exam and lecture free days for jumat Friday, holiday in their Ramadan period. Abeg this hijab, Islam, slaughtering,stoning, terrorism,issues are fast becoming very upsetting. Rules are rules.

  13. Bolu

    July 21, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    I used to go on this site to see open minded comments from people who were educated, but it seems i was wrong, its sad to think that my kids will grow up with backward people, for the person questioning my Christainity, I attend deeper life and with all the rules on dressing i was still able to attend school and wear the school uniform with slight alterations when neccesary, growing up my mum changed all my P.E shorts to skirts and uniform deemed short was elongated, its sad that we cannot tolerate our own fellow brothers and sisters, no one ever told me I should attend a deeperlife school and leave because its not the norm accepted by the majority.
    @unadite holiday in ramadan they dont deserve ba but you deserve christmas day and eve off abi or sef you went into work durring the salah holiday.
    Tradition and way of life are not the same for those comparing it,
    Stella maris abuja (dont know if they still do it sha) when i attended in assembly and morning/evening prayers, the protestants prayed, the catholics said their prayer and the muslims said theres to everyone was included.
    sad all this hate just because someone wants to tie a scarf

    • Just Negodu

      July 21, 2016 at 7:20 pm

      Bolu, You come across as a very myopic and intolerant person. So, you are the only intelligent person on this blog. You are a “deeper” fool.

    • tobi

      July 21, 2016 at 7:36 pm

      You think wiping up sentiments bout being a deeper life christian will make people suddenly see reason why 2 girls going to a public school want to insist on wearing hijab. Why don’t we set a standard and allow girls as young as 9 to get married too based on your religion . I Dont for one second believe you are a christian you are a manipulative Muslim. If they want to wear hijab let them go to all girls Muslim school. I’m sure you realise it woldnt stop at hijab, they’ll ask for free periods to pray, then insist on all female teachers. While we are at it why don’t we argue for the freedom of girls as young as 9 to marry. WERE do you think it will end? Hummm. Please sit down we anit buying it. Be free to practice your religion BUT STOP IMPOSING YOUR STANDARDS ON OTHERS PLEASE. Uniform is uniform go and Google the meaning. Schools have policies on uniform wearing simply put if you can’t conform to uniform policy feel free to leave.

    • ATL's finest

      July 21, 2016 at 7:36 pm

      U attend deeper life? Sorry to say with your comment sprinkling ignorance around the blog, y’all are the worse ones including my cousins mtchews. My dear drink some Benadryl & call it a day.

  14. Bolu

    July 21, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    Oh and by the way if Nigeria is now saying its a secular state , isnt it on a religous basis that underage marriages occur, homosexuality is banned,nigerians look down on divorce, sharia law exists in the north. As a secular state as we claim why do we have christmas and eid holidays you want to be neutral be neutral through and through

    • Amina

      July 21, 2016 at 7:54 pm

      At bolu I’m a Muslim in solidarity with the rest off the world I have stopped wearing a hijab. I realise my peaceful religion has been hijacked by a few monsters who have desecrated it. I am not surprised or judgemental about people reaction to Muslims. People are human after all. Monsters have blown up innocent bystanders disguised with hijab and burqua . My not wearing them is a sacrifice of peace it doesn’t make me less of a good Muslim/good person. It is not what is on the outside that is important it’s what lays within. As for the matter at hand the girls are selfish and stubborn.

    • LemmeRant

      July 21, 2016 at 9:34 pm

      Thank you. At least you understand the gravity of things.

      If only the moslem friends of @bolu here would take a stand against those people hijacking their religion. I say this because they are in the best position to criticize other fake moslems. Truth is if christians or atheist do this, it would just be met with hatred as they would think we are against them or we don’t understand anything about their religion. And this is where the true moslems play a focal role.

      @Bolu, sentiments aside. These are the facts.

      1). The world is facing a global threat from people claiming to be moslems and using islam to justify their extremism.
      2). There are actually true moslems in the world just as christians and atheist.
      3).
      .

    • ATL's finest

      July 22, 2016 at 1:37 am

      @ Amina awww sorry u had to stop wearing hijab. I know there are great ones out there like U. Honestly, I feel bad for the good ones suffering from the mess other monsters created. I know how u feel but at least, no1 will see u walking down the street & start to run or when u get on the ✈ they change their seats :).

  15. Mcfadden

    July 21, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    But why insist on attending a school were majority don’t wear the scarf. What does it mean. I m a christian I would never insist on attending a Muslim school and refuse to wear the hijab. If I choose to attend a Muslim school then I must wear the uniform. Shikena. I went to Saudi the women covered up me fa I follow cover too. As pe when in Rome. These 2 girls are just an example of how extremist these people are.slways want others to bend their rules for you but never the other way round. Nonsense

  16. Amaa

    July 22, 2016 at 1:40 am

    I beg to differ I went to an FGC school the only time they where allowed to wear it was when the were taken to Friday prayers at the mosque.
    The issue is that even nuns are required to wear NYSC uniforms no exception is made for them. It’s a public school funded by the state and should maintain religious neutrality . It is not an Alamajiri school . The same way nuns have set up covent schools to address their needs .

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