MURIC To Lagos: Stop Teachers From Harassing Muslim Students Over Hijab - 9IJA TALKS

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MURIC To Lagos: Stop Teachers From Harassing Muslim Students Over Hijab

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) yesterday appealed to Lagos State Government (LASG) to take urgent action against teachers who disobey its directives regarding the donning of hijab by Muslim female students.

Apparently reacting to some school authorities in the state forcing female Muslim students to remove their hijab before taking pictures meant for the West African Examination Council (WAEC) forms, MURIC’s director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola in a statement warned that Muslims should not be blamed for rejecting illegal instructions from rebellious and recalcitrant school principals and teachers.

The group mentioned names of some schools where the female Muslim students were allegedly being asked to remove their hijab for the ‘capturing’ as 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, it 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.
It argued that the approval of hijab by LASG was 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.

“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 forbearing.

“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.”

It warned that nobody should blame Muslim parents if they come out to defend their children, saying that “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 government’s instruction”, MURIC said.

It therefore charged Muslim parents in the state and throughout Nigeria to wake up and protect their children, adding “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”, it said.

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