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'
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
LAGOS HIJAB JUDGEMENT: ALLOW THE LAW TO TAKE ITS DUE COURSE
8th February, 2017
LAGOS HIJAB JUDGEMENT:
ALLOW THE LAW TO TAKE ITS DUE COURSE
The Lagos Appeal Court
yesterday struck out the stay of execution order sought by the Lagos State
Government on the right of female Muslim students to use hijab with their
Asiyat Abdul Kareem
(through her father), Moriam Oyeniyi and the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria
had won appeal of case CA/L/135/15 against the Lagos State Government on 21st
July, 2016 when all the five judges of the Lagos Appeal Court approved the use
of hijab in Lagos public schools. The state government immediately approached
the Supreme Court to appeal the case and also sought a stay of the execution at
the Appeal Court.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) hails the rejection of
the stay of execution sought by the Lagos Government. It is bold, convincing
and reassuring. It cements our faith in the judiciary as the last hope of the
MURIC appeals to the
state government to allow sleeping dogs to lie. There is a limit even for
official ego. There must come a time when government scoops to allow the
general will to prevail. But the law is on the side of the general will this
time. A government installed via democratic process cannot afford to disrespect
a court judgement. This latest decision is legally binding and Lagos has no
choice. Afterall, it is the center of excellence.
The honourable path is for the center of excellence to walk
its talk. The state government must instruct the Ministry of Education to tell school
principals to allow female Muslim children to use hijab in public schools.
immodest, we assure all and sundry that we know our rights. Any school
authority who disallows female Muslim students or pupils from using hijab risks
being jailed for contempt of court. We have been patient enough. Our children
have listened to us. They eschewed violence. They obeyed the rules of decorum. Now
the die is cast.
Muslims have been
accused severally of resorting to spontaneous violence even though they have
always been provoked. But the case is different this time around. Lagos Muslims
went to court instead of going violent and the courts have decided. Lagos
government must allow the law to take its due course.
Finally, Nigerians and
indeed the rest of the world must see this as a test case for democracy and the
rule of law in Lagos State. We want to know how democratic are our democrats? To
be or not to be? That is the question. Whether Lagos will respect the courts
and allow the students to use hijab as ordered by the court or whether the
grandstanding, the stigmatization, the oppression and persecution will continue
is left to be seen. The world is watching.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)