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GHEN! GHEN!! Hijab Controversy: Nigeria Islamic Council Threatens ‘War’, Nationwide Protests

The refusal of the Body of Benchers to call Amasa Firdaus to bar for wearing hijab has continued to send ripples across

the country, wit many divided over the propriety of the action.

However, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), the umbrella body of Nigerian Muslims, has threatened to initiate a legal war and nationwide protests if the Unilorin law graduate is not immediately called to bar and compensated.

The body made its stance known in a Tuesday statement signed by its Deputy Secretary General Salisu Shehu. NSCIA said the young lady had been victimised, harassed and intimidated by the Nigerian Law School, the Body of Benchers and the Council for Legal Education on account of her faith and in violation of her rights as entrenched in the 1999 constitution.

The statement read in part, “She has been denie of rightfully joining her professional colleagues just because of her religion. She has been exposed to ridicule and opprobrium by standing for her religious rights.

“It begs the question that she is not the only Muslim lady among those concerned, as no one will stand for her when she appears before her Creator to defend the correctness and otherwise of her actions. We reiterate that she has not violated any law.

“The NSCIA demands that the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Justice, call the Council for Legal Education and the Nigerian Law School to order so that they will not stoke religious crisis in the country.

“Our Council patiently waits for what the Ministry will do as it puts other options on the table, including litigation and nation-wide protests.

“Those who think they can ride roughshod on the rights of Muslims just because their co-Christian colonialists did it successfully will have to wake up and realise that Muslims are equal stakeholders in this country.”

NSCIA said the action constituted “the height of Islamophobia displayed by the authorities of the Nigerian Law School, the Body of Benchers and the Council for Legal Education”.

“Basically, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria guarantees Nigerians their freedom of religion.

“There is a constitutional basis that holds and upholds the use of hijab as a fundamental and constitutional right of Muslims in this country.

“It beggars belief that the Islamophobic posturing of the Nigerian Christian establishment is legendary even if this dates back to the Christian colonial past and its vestiges.

“The hatred for Muslims and Islam appears to be a virulent cancer that has spread across the body of those who use religion to oppress and deprive others of their religious rights. We have maintained that Nigeria is a multi-religious country and that cannot be controverted.

“In the United States, female Muslim attorneys ar granted their use of hijab as a piece of scarf on the head of a person doesn’t harm anyone.

“In Britain, where the Nigerian legal system originates from, the English lawyers and judges since July this year have started to break away from the centuries-old tradition of horse-air wigs that many consider anachronistic, uncomfortable and expensive.

“While the rest of the world is becoming progressive and pluralistic, the Nigerian religious bigots remain dogmatic, vicious and vindictive when issues concerning Islam arise.

“That the United States of America allows even female military personnel to use hijab and male Muslims to grow their beard as part of their religious rights is worthy of note.

“If Muslim female police officers in Britain that so desire use hijab without let or hindrance, what is the problem in Nigeria? “What is wrong with the Islamophobic Nigerians who assume that Muslims must abandon their religion to co-exist with them in the Nigerian space?

“How does wearing hijab infringe on anybody’s right in Nigeria? Enough is enough of this chroni hatred and bigoted intolerance! Yours is your religion and ours is ours.

“We stand behind Abdulsalam Firdaos Amosa who acted within her constitutional rights and we insist that she must be called to the Bar and adequately compensated for the humiliation she was subjected to. Enough is enough!”

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