Hijab: FOMWAN, MSSN, CAN women collaborate on interfaith harmony

THE Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN) and the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) have reaffirmed the use of hijab by Muslim women as an act of modesty mandated by Allah and stressed the need for the general public, especially non-Muslims, to see it as such.

The groups made the reaffirmation in Lagos at a recent seminar themed ‘Unity in Diversity’ which addressed the use of hijab in schools and public places.

The Lagos State amirah (head) of FOMWAN, Dr Halimah Egberongbe, said the objective of the workshop was to encourage interfaith collaboration in the country.

“We have reached out to non-Muslims, especially the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), in order to promote interfaith collaboration between the two religions. We have come together to deliberate, think alike and pass messages which are almost alike to the audience,” she said.

She urged the government and the general public to see Islam as a religion that fosters advocacy on decency and modesty.

“The government and the general public should accept the fact that Islam preaches modesty, humility and transparency which I believe the government is also advocating.

“We must desist from discriminating against the use of hijab, because the hijab is all about leading a decent and humble life. The society must accept the children and youths who use hijab in the workplace and in schools so that our society will be a better place to live in,” Egberongbe said.

She urged Muslims and non-Muslims to live harmoniously together; accept each other’s religion and avoid contradictions and disharmony among themselves.

The chairperson of the Women Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (WOWICAN), Ambassador Elizabeth Onajobi, commended the initiative.

“I thank God for today’s gathering because we have been able to talk to the youths especially and ourselves,” Onajobi said.

She noted that during the course of the seminar, she learned a lot and came to a realisation as regards what hijab symbolised.

“Putting on of hijab by a Muslim woman is more than what people see. It symbolises spirituality. The hijab is you as a person, not the material. You as a person should behave well and be righteous. When you behave well, people will see you and you will be dignified.

“It is not when carrying the Qur’an or the Bible that matters but your behaviour. So, if you are wearing the hijab and you are not portraying the goodness in you, it is worthless,” said Onajobi who advised youths against the danger of bad peer influence.

“Our youths should be obedient and listen to their parents. They should desist from following bad peers because they will draw them away from the truth and from being righteous, which is what God wants them to be.

“God wants us to be righteous and every religion preaches peace. By being righteous, you will live right,” she added.

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