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, December 6, 2018
ALLOW HIJAB IN WAEC FORM PICTURES
6th December, 2018
ALLOW HIJAB IN WAEC FORM PICTURES
Some school authorities in Lagos State are forcing female Muslim students
to remove their hijab before taking pictures meant for the West African
Examination Council (WAEC) forms.
This is contained in a press release
issued by the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) on Thursday, 6th
December, 2018. The Islamic human rights organization mentioned names of some
schools where the female Muslim students are allegedly being asked to remove
their hijab for the ‘capturing’. Such schools include Government Secondary
School, Ijanikin, Iba Housing Estate Senior Secondary School, Ajangbadi Senior
High School and Oto-Awori Senior Grammar School.
Lamenting over the persecution of female Muslim children in Lagos schools,
the director and founder of MURIC said, “It is very unfortunate that this crude
attitude is manifesting in 21st century Lagos. It is retrogressive, archaic
and anachronistic. The school principals and teachers involved should be
ashamed of themselves.
“What crime has the Muslim girl-child
committed? How does the hijab harm any teacher? Is it an amulet? Is it a weapon
of mass destruction? Why must it be the South-West every time? The University
of Ibadan International School has locked out all female Muslim students who
wear hijab for the past two weeks thereby denying the girl child education
which is critical to her intellectual growth. Teachers of Araromi Senior High School,
Sari-Iganmu, Lagos State also went berserk on Wednesday, 21st
November, 2018, sending all hijab-wearing students out of the school despite
the LASG directive which clearly prohibited such action. Who is afraid of the
“We are calling the Lagos State Government’s (LASG) attention to the
illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional activities of these reactionary
elements. They should be called to order. These are rebellious teachers and
enemies of peace. It should be noted that the action of these teachers is capable
of disturbing public peace. We hope Lagos is listening.
“Once again, Nigerians can see more
evidence of hypocrisy and falsehood in the claim that there is religious
tolerance in the South-West. It is a farce, a mirage. The real truth is that
although they constitute the majority, Muslims of the South-West are under
siege by agents of neo-colonialism. Non-Muslims who are the minority occupy
lofty positions and they use such positions to persecute Muslims.They deny them
jobs, admission into schools and also undermine their progress in various ways.
“The issue of hijab is one out of many. The female Muslim children who are
being oppressed are Yoruba. Interestingly, those who are oppressing them are
also Yoruba. Most of the Muslim children are indigenes of the states where they
reside and yet this is happening to them. It is wrongly assumed that there is
religious tolerance in the sub-region because the Muslims are extremely
“Nigerians and outsiders have been
deceived about the true situation in Yorubaland concerning religious tolerance.
It is time to do a concise analysis of the situation. Muslims and Christians
tolerate themselves in the same family. They also tolerate themselves when they
rent and live inside the same house even if they are not blood relations. But that
is where tolerance stops. It does not extend to social relations or workplaces.
Christians always stand in the way of Muslims when it comes to public issues. The
average Christian in the South-West has been indoctrinated to use his or her
office to promote her religion and to deny Muslims their rights.
“A good example is how Christians in Yorubaland reacted to the court
judgement approving hijab in Osun State about three years ago. Christians
instructed their own chidren to wear church choire garments to school! But do
they still wear the church garments to school today? Could it be sustained?
Divine truth will always overwhelm social truth no matter how long it takes.
“Nobody should blame Muslim parents from now on if they come out to defend
their children. From now onwards, whoever persecutes our children on the basis
of religion has persecuted the parents. Any teacher who harasses a Muslim
student, male or female, has harassed all Muslims in the state and, indeed, in
the entire country. From now on, our dogma is ‘harass one, harass all’.
“We will not allow teachers to give our
children illegal instructions. It is illegal instruction to ask a female Muslim
student to remove her hijab for any reason whatsoever. LASG has approved the
use of hijab in all public schools and it was widely publicized. Principals and
teachers are paid public servants and they should obey the
“The approval of hijab by LASG is a major dividend of democracy to be enjoyed
by Muslims in Lagos State after suffering religious persecution for decades. We
will not stand akimbo while some disobedient teachers disallow our daughters
from enjoying this freedom. Any principal or teacher who instructs female
Muslim students to remove their hijab is disobeying the state government.
“That is not only insurbordination, it is also a criminal offence and we
will pursue the legal implication to a logical conclusion. Muslims are tax
payers and the money we pay to government’s coffers forms an integral part of
government’s revenue which is used to pay the teachers. Our children have every
right to have access to education without let or hinderance. It is ‘hinderance’
to ask a Muslim girl-child to remove her hijab. We demand full compliance with
LASG directive. It has become law in Lagos State because it is the crux of a
“Those teachers should know that Muslims also network. Muslim students
meet their parents at home and the latter report in the mosques and Islamic organizations.
Many of these reports are passed to MURIC and we have a full dossier on them.
Can those teachers try what they are doing now in the North? Can they try it in
Kano or Bauchi? Is it not the same country and the same constitution? Even WAEC
did not instruct them to derobe students in hijab. It is sheer overzealousness on
their part and pathological hatred for genuine Muslims. The only Muslims they
can tolerate are the weak ones who readily compromise their religion
“The implication of asking a female
Muslim student to remove her hijab before ‘capturing’ is very serious. It means
the invigilator may ask her to remove her hijab during examination for proper
identification since, ceteris paribus, she will be wearing her hijab while
writing the examination. This is also most likely to demoralize and destabilize
her. It may affect her performance and examination result.
“MURIC therefore charges Muslim parents in the state and throughout
Nigeria to wake up and protect their children. Possess your possession. These
innocent children are looking up to you in loco parentis for protection.
We did not send them to school to be persecuted, intimidated and harassed.
Heartless teachers are out to demolish our children’s spirit. They are playing
on their emotions. They are playing God in the lives of our children. They are
demoralizing them. It is time to rise to their defence. It is now or never.
“Islamic liberation theology affirms
that leaders, parents and those in position of authority shall be held accountable
for the sufferings of those being persecuted on earth. Almighty Allah says, ‘We
shall question those to whom the messages (of Allah) are delivered. We shall
also question those who delivered them” (Qur’an 7:6).
“We must also remind parents that it is
a religious duty to stand up for those under persecution. Qur’an 4:75 says,
“What stops you from struggling in the cause of Allah when men, women and
children are being persecuted, and they are crying out, ‘Oh Lord, rescue us
from this land whose occupants are oppressors and give us from You a defender,
and give us from You a helper!”
“Every Muslim parent should be able to do this without applying violence.
Go to your child’s school and ask questions whenever your child reports a case
of harassment. Don’t suffer in silence. Let your local Imam or Islamic
organization act on your behalf if you cannot go. These teachers are
discriminating against Muslim children under the false premise of the ‘slave
“We are servants of Allah, not servants of any living creature no matter
how highly placed. We refuse to be slaves in our own country. Neither shall we
accept the status of second class citizens. We would rather be free men in the
grave than live like puppets or slaves. The principle of equality before the
law must be respected”.
MURIC also appealed to Islamic organizations in the country to come to the
rescue of the Muslim girl-child. “We urge all Islamic organizations in the
country, particularly the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) to rise to
the occasion. The Muslim girl-child has become an endangered specie today and
we must all wake up to our responsibility to protect her. We must not
disappoint her. The girl-child is our daughter, our sister, our wife and our
mother. Nobody will protect her if we fail to speak up today. Islamic
organizations are hereby advised to set up monitoring committees that will
visit all the schools around their vicinity. They are however cautioned on the
need to avoid violence at all cost.
“We call on LASG to walk its talk.
Female Muslim children need the government’s protection from the excesses of
fanatical Christian principals and teachers. We charge civil society,
particularly human rights groups to speak up. Muslims are human beings too and
we deserve human rights. Where are the human rights lawyers? Let them speak up
now or shut up forever.
Where are the women liberation
organizations? Why are they always silent when Muslim women are the victims?
Why are they ignoring the cries of the Muslim girl-child? What crime has the
Muslim girl-child committed? Why does she deserve humiliation, dehumanization,
deprivation of her personal dignity and criminal denial of her Allah-given
fundamental human rights? We charge all human rights groups to search their
“These are astounding cases of injustice against little children. Here is
a case study for those who accuse Muslims of violence and terrorism. Violence
and terrorism are mere symtoms. The real disease is injustice. Violence and
terrorism are mere smoke. Injustice is the fire. There is no smoke without fire
and it is the height of stupidity for any firefighter to turn his water hoses
on the smoke, leaving the fire to continue raging. Justice is the soul of
peace. Those who deny one cannot enjoy the other. This is MURIC’s philosophy of
violence and terrorism.
“In our concluding remarks, we appeal to LASG to take urgent action
against teachers who disobey its directives regarding the donning of hijab.
Muslims should not be blamed for rejecting illegal instructions from rebellious
and recalcitrant school principals and teachers. Muslim parents and Islamic organizations
must get ready for the coming struggle. The Muslim girl-child must not remain a
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)