I refer to your (Lasisi Olagunju’s) article published in Nigerian Tribune of Monday, March 22, 2021.
I have read and I’m full of admiration for your masterful writing skill not withstanding my developing a heavy heart with the way you skillfully project facts that fit your narrative of the subject matter. As humans, we will always have our opinion on issues just that yours here smirk of outright demeaning of the hijab to treating the hijab as the trunk of a banana tree that does not require a machete to cut down. A quick reminder however, is that the hijab is a symbol of faith for several millions of people so I advise you become sensitive and considerate to what their feelings might be.
Back to your piece, how brilliant would it have been if you have spoken to the issues at stake in Kwara rather than playing the devil’s advocate? My understanding of the issue in that state after reading several accounts of the incidence does not suggest the government of Kwara is the “devil” with “the motives for official inscription of the veil in government scrolls.” What was at stake was simply a point of law, unless you’re saying that the government of the land does not have the locus to implement court judgments, more so when not doing so was beginning to portray the government as being deliberately biased towards a particular segment of its citizens and was becoming a reason for the disturbance of the public peace in the state. I wait to see how you would’ve approached it if you were the sitting governor.
You also flew the kites of deviants severally in your piece by promoting their controversial and self pleasing views. I wonder what challenges the people you referenced are having with the category of those that can adorn the hijab. I asked because the Quran, the ultimate refrence frame of Islam was unequivocal on who should wear the hijab:
O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad): that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
-Sura Al-Ahzab 33, Ayah 59
The Quran stated further;
There is no blame (on these ladies if they appear without veil) before their fathers or their sons, their brothers, or their brother’s sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or the (slaves) whom their right hands possess. And, (ladies), fear Allah; for Allah is Witness to all things.
-Sura Al-Ahzab 33, Ayah 55
So what is controversial about who, when and where to wear the hijab?
Also, the examples you cited from other climes; Egypt, Iran and others don’t hold here. In Kwara and in Nigeria as a whole, the hijab is not forced on anybody nor is it made compulsory for women or girls. And, that’s why (in response to your wanting to know how Christian girls are treated in Muslim founded schools), there has not been issue because Christian female students are not asked nor expected to wear the hijab. I’m sure you know CAN in their characteristics zero tolerance for Islam, would’ve screamed to the high heaven if that had been the case.
There is something that however bothers me in all these; is the hijab alien to Christianity? Isn’t it in their scripture that their women wear the hijab? I asked because I can’t fathom this animosity towards the hijab as if it’s a taboo to wear the Hijab in Christianity. Do they hate Muslims that much? So our Muslim parents should be celebrated then for sacrificing for peace to reign back in the 60s to 80s when we their children were asked to change our names to get education and were also routinely punished for not having the SOP hymn book and or for not being able to recite the Lord’s Prayer on the assembly in public-funded schools!
One thing CAN needs to know is that, their cantankerous action is becoming inimical to the peace and well-being of Nigeria as a multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation. Accepting Nigeria’s diversity is the path towards our peace and greatness as a nation. This is what people like you should be using your column to do for Nigeria and not to put pressure on the fractured part of the calabash which is what you’ve done with your piece.
Lawal Jubril, CEO, Justice and Peace Initiative for National Development (JUPINAD), sent this through email@example.com
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