This is the official blog of the Nigeria-based Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a human rights organization which promotes, protects and projects the rights of Muslims. This group condemns terrorism and all acts of violence. Its motto is 'Dialogue, Not Violence'
Thursday, July 21, 2016
LAGOS HIJAB JUDGEMENT: IT IS VICTORY FOR RULE OF LAW
21st July, 2016
LAGOS HIJAB JUDGEMENT:
IT IS VICTORY FOR RULE OF LAW
The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos
this afternoon declared that female Muslim students have the right to use hijab
as part of the school uniform.
A lower court in Lagos ruled in October
2013 that hijab was illegal.
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) commends the ruling. It has restored hope in the
judiciary as the last hope of the common man. The five judges deserve more
accolades. They have proved beyond any reasonable doubt that they were
principled men of the bench. It is the victory of the rule of law. Truth has
prevailed over falsehood.
The fact that the judgment was
unanimous and only two of the five judges are Muslims leaves a firm stamp of
authority on the legality of the use of hijab not only by female Muslim students
but also by all Muslim women in the country.
therefore warns officials in public and private institutions who are in the
habit of intimidating and stigmatizing Muslim women in hijab to desist
We laud Muslim students and Islamic organizations
in Lagos State who have demonstrated patience and tolerance in the face of
provocations since the unfavourable court judgment of 2013. Unlike their
counterparts in the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Osun State chapter
who took the law into their hands when the judgment on the hijab case was
unfavourable to them, Lagos Muslims showed maturity and respect for the rule of
Nigerians have important lessons to
learn in the two cases. One, that litigants should remain patient when a lower court
makes a pronouncement as there is opportunity to approach an appellate court.
Two, that democracy can only thrive where we respect the rule of law. A
situation whereby litigants go berserk over a court’s pronouncement can only
Three, that Muslims are often branded
extremists by those who deprive them of their Allah-given fundamental human
rights in order to perpetuate the oppression and persecution of Muslims.
Whereas opponents had been calling Lagos Muslims ‘terrorists’, ‘extremist’, etc
on account of their demanding the right to use hijab, the Appeal Court judgment
has now confirmed that the Muslims were doing the right thing.
Four, that the faith of our politicians
and leaders does not matter. What matters is that every leader must be prepared
to do the right thing no matter whose ox is gored. Five, Nigerians have been
offered case studies in religious tolerance on a platter of gold. The searchlight
for religious extremists and fanatics should be turned away from South West Muslims
and focused where it properly belongs.
The nature of truth is to eventually prevail
over falsehood no matter how long. This is the sixth lesson. We call on
Nigerians to exercise patience whenever they feel cheated. We should not resort
to violence. The law courts are there.
The Supreme Creator is also watching. The Glorious Qur’an says, “Tell them (Oh
Muhammad), that the truth has come and falsehood is vanquished. Verily indeed
falsehood by its nature is bound to perish” (Qur’an 17:81)
We appeal to Muslims throughout the
country to remain calm, law abiding and watchful.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)