HIJAB CRISIS: MPAC rejoices with muslim Students of ISI on Court victory

Muslim Public Affairs Centre, MPAC, has rejoiced with and congratulated the victorious Muslim female students of the University of Ibadan International School, Ibadan (ISI) who on Wednesday, 22 May, 2024, won a landmark victory in their case against the public school which had challenged their right to use the hijab in school.
ISI’s discriminatory and Islamophobic policy of targeting the young girls occurred in November 2018, when the secondary school denied the female Muslim students the right to use hijab on top of their uniforms.
Some female Muslim students, Faridah Akerele, Aaliyah Dokpesi, Akhifah Dokpesi, Raheemah Akinlusi, Imam Akinoso, Hamdallah Olosunde, Aliyyah Adebayo, Moriddiyah Yekinni, Ikhlas Badiru, Mahmuda Babarinde, and Fareedah Moshood, their parents and Islamic advocacy group dragged the school, the University of Ibadan, and some principal officers of the institution to court.
The High Court in Oyo State ruled in favour of the female students and declared that hijab, according to a Supreme Court judgement on a related issue in Lagos State, is a fundamental human right of the affected students.
MPAC has provided different supports for the sisters over the course of the 6-year legal battle, and as such happy to note the High Court’s judgement supported the constitutional rights of the students and as such strengthens the society by dealing with the societal ills of intolerance and bigotry in one pronouncement.
MPAC accordingly said”It is disgraceful that a centre of higher learning like University of Ibadan would allow its secondary school become a safe haven for Islamophobes, peddling open discrimination against young girls simply because of a piece of cloth on their head, worn as a religious obligation. This sad episode is a sad reminder that some people embedded in our educational sector are more interested in promoting hateful and discriminatory policies against Muslims and the Muslim dress code at a time that our nation needs clear direction in teaching morality and decency as core values to our youth. Many schools have successfully instituted non-discriminatory measures, including dress codes, to effectively address and curb the underlying causes of indiscipline and indecency in our schools. Sadly, promoting hatred of the hijab seemed more important at ISI, which spent 6 years kivking and screaming as it fought in court to secure judicial endorsement of its discriminatory and unconstitutional policy.
“The disgraceful behaviour of the school authorities at UI (and ISI) on this issue will remain an indelible blemish on the enviable record of that great institution.
“The voice of Nigerian Muslim students is essential at this tenuous time, and they must rise to the occasion, in a dignified way, to express the core Islamic teachings that enjoin the use of hijab in its various forms by female Muslims outside the home.
“Once again, MPAC supports and encourages female Muslims, especially Muslim students, to make our values heard, and make a free choice to adorn the hijab. This is an important duty; to work for the cause of their future on campuses and the society at large, with a noble vision, as they seek to cultivate a culture of pluralism, tolerance and coexistence for the advancement of all people on school premises/campuses.
“MPAC, other Muslim groups and Muslim student associations will continue to promote love, tolerance and understanding as part of the core values of our faith. As such, educating non-Muslims about the status of hijab in Islam will be prioritized, as the paradox of Islamophobia partly remains that many people who discriminate against Muslim sisters due to hijab know very little about hijab and its true status in Islam.
“As part of our campaign to tackle and rid our society of Islamophobia, MPAC pledges to be steadfast in supporting the Nigerian Muslim students and indeed all Muslims in combating the ideology of hatred from which open-ended bigotry and discrimination against hijab and other Islamic teachings are mostly created. We hope that the legal achievement in the High Court judgment in Oyo State, deriving its ruling from a Supreme Court decision on this matter, will create a trend and lessons that will be adopted by those concerned as all Nigerians are guaranteed equal participation in public life. The real test of a democracy is not in what is said in the Constitution alone, but also in how it functions on the ground. By upholding equal legal rights for all Nigerians, Nigeria and all its people win. We all must contribute to building a Nigeria where no girl-child carries a price tag on the basis of a piece of cloth on the head, or forced to make a choice between accessing education and practicing her faith”.

Related posts