Ban on Hijab… MURIC faults DG of NYSC
THE Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has faulted the decision of the Director General of the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC), Brigadier General Johnson Olawumi to ban the use of hijab by corps members.
The purported ban, the Muslim rights group insists, “It is reckless, baseless and preposterous. No public officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should speak in such manner. The pronouncement smacks of power drunkenness. It is a hate statement. The Director General needs to purge himself of Islamophobia.”
In a statement signed by its Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, MURIC challenged the DG’s prouncement which was allegedly made in Abuja on Tuesday thus: “On what ground is he banning the use of hijab? Security reason is not enough because we have examples of armed robbers using police uniforms to rob. Has anyone thought of banning police uniform? About 40 armed robbers dressed in army uniform attacked six banks in Agbara, Ogun State last week. They killed a policeman and a pregnant woman. Should we ban army uniform because of that?
“Brigadier General Johnson and his ilk are hiding under the security challenge facing Nigeria to implement a hidden agenda, namely, to stigmatise Muslims and to embarrass our daughters and wives who wear hijab.
“Is General Johnson aware that female Muslims in the British police use hijab on top of their uniform? Can he tell us how the hijab disturbs a corper’s uniform? Does the DG know that hijab is an integral, nay, the most vital part of a female Muslim’s dress? Does he know that female Muslim corpers feel as if they are naked when disallowed from using the hijab? Is he aware of the psychological trauma such female Muslim corpers go through?
“How can we spend a lifetime training our daughters to dress decently and you dehumanize them in your camp within 24 hours? How dare you?
“We affirm that we will use every constitutional means to stop this religious apartheid against Muslims in the name of discipline and regimentation. Why must Muslims face persecution everywhere in Nigeria? Why can’t the Nigerian system accommodate and integrate the Islamic culture? Why can’t Nigerian officials allow Islamic landmarks to stand pari passu with British colonial and Christian culture? Is Nigeria truly independent or is it a banana republic created to serve only the interest of the British imperial master? Must Muslims be forced to accept British Christian mode of dressing?”