The Muslim Association of Visually Impaired of Nigeria (MAVIN)has joined fellow Muslim organisations in Lagos State and beyond to congratulate female Muslim students over the recent pronouncement of the Supreme Court, upholding their right to use hijab in public schools.
The association, in a statement by Amir (President) MAVIN, AbdulWasi’ Salaudeen, said the right of Muslim ladies to use hijab is beyond constitutional right, it is a fundamental obligation on every female Muslim, as part of the fulfilment of their religious responsibilities.
This means, that a Muslim lady’s dressing is incomplete without a hijab because it is not a mere matter of culture, but a religious duty.
“No doubt, it has been a long legal battle between the Muslim community in Lagos and the state government since 2014 and even beyond, which has now culminated in a well-deserving victory for Muslim students and the team of lawyers handling the case.
“Our sisters and children have been denied this right for too long in a country where they have equal entitlement like any other citizen. It is morally unacceptable that such denial should be allowed to continue unchecked, to avoid creating a discriminatory society where there is the prevalence of lack of sense of belonging among a significant section of the populace.”
The association further commended the panel of justices of the Apex Court for standing firmly on the side of justice without fear or favour, saying posterity will always remember them for striking down a law which violated the right of Muslim students to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, the dignity of human persons and freedom from discrimination guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution.
“We salute the courage of the team of lawyers in the forefront of the legal battle, for keeping the faith alive and making all the needed sacrifices to achieve victory. We would not forget to pray for the soul of Alhaji Adetola Kassim (SAN), who started the battle on behalf of the Muslim students but died shortly afterwards. We pray Allah reward him for this effort and repose his soul in the loftiest place in paradise.
“We are calling on governments at all levels to ensure the successful implementation of this judgment in all public schools across the country. All stakeholders; Muslims and non-Muslims alike, should give room for peaceful coexistence and avoid any untoward act as a result of this verdict.
The association urged female students to use the opportunity to exhibit the best morals, as they adorn their hijab lawfully and endeavour to eschew all acts that could blemish Islam through their individual practices preaching the beauty of Islam through their characters.
“We also implore school authorities to allow hostilities surrounding the use of Hijab in schools to cease once and for all, in order to create a friendly environment that would stimulate academic excellence through healthy competition among students. Every student should be entitled to equal opportunities towards overall development and growth of our society, regardless of religious, tribal or gender difference,” the association said, adding, Nigerian Muslims should take a cue from this victory and always endeavour to pursue all grievances in a peaceful and lawful manner. Islam enjoins Muslims to seek justice using all legal and peaceful avenues.