Hijab: Muslim groups condemn Nigerian Law school action on Firdaus Amasa

Nigerian Law School graduate, Amasa Firdaus
Nigerian Law School graduate, Amasa Firdaus. [Photo credit: Al Jazeera]

Muslim groups in Nigeria have condemned in strong terms the denial of Firdaus Amasa from being called to the Bar due to her adorning Hijab. They described the action as unconstitutional, a violation of her fundamental human rights and a slap on the Muslim community.

The groups are Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria, MMPN; Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria, MULAN; Federation of Muslim Women Association in Nigeria, FOMWAN; Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, MSSN; Abuja Muslim Forum, AMF; and Obafemi Awolowo University Muslim Graduates Association, UNIFEMGA.

Others were Criterion, Muslim Consultative Forum, MCF; Muslim Ummah of South West of Nigeria, MUSWEN; Bodija Muslim Youth Forum, BOMYOF; Muslim Community of Oyo State, MUSCOYS; as well as some Muslim and non-Muslim individuals.

In a statement, the National President of MMPN, Abdur-Rahman Balogun said that the refusal by the authorities of the Nigerian Law School to call Firdaus Amasa to the Nigerian Bar was a gross violation of her right to freedom of religion as provided by Section 38 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended.

“We have taken our time to study, listen and hear all shades of opinion on this matter and we are of the opinion that despite Firdaus compromise of adorning a harmless and simple Hijab, her refusal to be called to the Bar is an infringement on her fundamental human right.”

“One is not sure of what is the Nigerian Law School and the Council of Legal Education are afraid of. The world is moving away from that rigid thinking and leaving Nigeria behind as wig on hijab are allowed in countries like US, UK and Kenya to mention just a few.

“It is our belief that female lawyers in Nigeria, like their counterparts in other advanced countries, should be allowed to dress properly in accordance with their belief,” Mr. Balogun said.

Mr. Balogun said that though the call to the Bar has ended for this year and Ms. Firdaus has sacrificed herself, MMPN is hereby calling on all the affected bodies to do the needful by ensuring that she was enrolled in the next call to the Bar with her Hijab without any form of harassment or intimidation.

Speaking in the same vein, Jameel Muhammad, National President of MSSN, described the restriction on the use of hijab as “Islamophobia” and vowed that the group will champion the cause of Ms. Amasa.

“My first point is that we are Nigerian citizens and we are entitled to our fundamental human rights which include freedom to religion and worship,

“If my religion demands something from me and I am not contravening any law of a country, I see no reason why they should trample upon fundamental, God given and constitutional right given to me by my country,” Mr. Muhammad queried.

The Ameer of Abuja Muslim Forum, Luqman Ahmad, in a statement urged all stakeholders to abide by the direction given by national executive of MULAN as it has opened consultations with the top echelon of the legal profession in Nigeria.

The National Amirah of the Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria, FOMWAN, Halima Jibril, said the Muslim Ummah in the country will ensure her studies of the law profession shall not be in vain.

In emotion laden message, the FOMWAN Amirah said the incidence calls the Muslim Ummah to action, to seek redress while at the same time ensuring adherence to the rule of law.

Ms. Jibril, who met with the affected Ms. Amasa in company of the leadership of Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria, MULAN, said injustice done to one, is injustice done to all.

She, however, appealed to the body of Benchers to re-appraise this case with a view to an equitable settlement that gives the ordinary Nigerian confidence that their right to practice their chosen religion will be protected by those expected to uphold these rights.

 Other Muslim groups also described the barring of Ms. Amasa from the call to the Nigerian Bar as an infringement on her fundamental right and threatened to challenge it in a law court if the injustice is not redressed during the next call to the Bar.

It will be recalled that Ms. Amasa, a law graduate from the University of Ilorin, was denied entry into the International Conference Centre, Abuja, venue of the call to Bar on Wednesday December 13 because of her refusal to remove her Hijab.


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  • Epsilon_Delta

    Retard lawyer!

    • Biafran 1967

      Make the world a better place. Drop the hatred. Nigeria should become a place of empathy. There is too much bigotry in Nigeria. The way she dresses doesn’t bother me, why should you be bothered?

      • watersnake

        are you a Biafran? why bring in Briafra into this matter? please, present your correct identity if you are to be taken serious.

  • Malcom x

    For Godsake Mr Epsilon, take a good look at that lady, the hijab she wore is just a headscarf covering her hair. What does that reduce from anybody? What has her hair add or reduce to the law profession? Why is it an issue, or is it just because she is a Muslim and there is a hatred for Muslims? Please let’s try and be tolerant of peoples beliefs. Even the British whom we borrowed a lot of these things from have made some modifications, so why is ours different?

    • Ayinde

      You are obviously full of mischief. The requirement is that she covers her hair or head is the wig not sufficient enough. Why do we take delight in being disobedient to lawful orders or statues. Obviously this lady is not fit and proper for the legal profession with all the scare and noise associated with her. Her practice of religion is not in any way hindered by complying with a simple requirement.

  • Nkem

    “The world is moving away from that rigid thinking and leaving Nigeria behind as wig on hijab are allowed in countries like US, UK and Kenya to mention just a few.”meaningless
    Messrs. Muslim groups; but these other countries are also building aeroplanes, having uninterrupted power supply, providing universal health coverage and less prone to corrupt practices. Why is it that it is only meaningless practices that do not add value to society that we love to copy?

    • Jon

      Some of the countries you mentioned allow yansh banging. Is yansh banging considered human right in Nigeria? Tell your people to take their religion out of my computer screen and take it to mosque or somewhere.

  • Emeka

    This evil lady is designed to ferment troubles where she ought not to. I ask! “If this woman was involved in a motor accident, “God forbid,” and perhaps has a cracked skull that needs urgent first aid to saving her life, would she insist on not removing the hijab for the fears of exposure and maintaining her so-called religious believe and fundamental animal right?

    • Biafran 1967

      Why do you think she is evil because she is different? Some people hate you and I and would brand us evil just because of our ethnic group. It’s time we moved on in Africa and start accepting differences. This is when peace and development would come to Africa.

  • TOBBY777

    This group should be ashame of themselves for being agents of darkness and divisiveness. The Nigeria legal profession have their dress code and dressing their body like terrorists is not part of our legal profession dress code. Before she went to schoool to study law, she knew the profession has a dress code, if she cant dress decently to her call to bar ceremony, she cant practice in Nigeria. WITHOUT LOVE, LIFE IS A MISTAKE.

    • Patriotism

      She is exercising her fundamental right and freedom of religion. This must be respected as it is in our constitution. Even UK and US respect this rights, except if you are biased. I salute her courage for sacrificing to correct an anomaly in the legal profession. Please, look at issues objectively with no religion bias, you see the truth in her case

      • Isaac Boro

        Fundamental right? Why didn’t she ask the Law School to postpone the Call to the Bar so she can go and pray….the muslim way? Very soon medical muslim students will banish the stethoscope around their necks because it is touching their breasts. Evil souls. Trouble makers. NAMASHIOBIRI.

      • TOBBY777

        Did you actually wrote OBJECTIVELY? The Nigeria Legal System has a dress code that is why you cant dress anyhow to represent your client in the court. She is aware of these codes before studying law. She is struggling to cause some religious crisis with her attention seeking stand. She is the person violating the laws of the land unless you want to tell me quran is the constitution of Nigeria. Regarding your reference to the US and UK, you know too well those countries wont accept what she did. WITHOUT LOVE, LIFE IS A MISTAKE.

  • Otile

    Mad Muslims are using their stinky robes to divert attention from the hardships Buhari foisted on Nigerians.

  • Eluba Inas

    I don’t understand the phobia of Nigerians with hijab. I have seen a lot of Muslim women in US universities wearing hijab during their graduation ceremony and nobody raises any objection.

    • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

      Many suicide bombers in the NE have used these forms of Islamic dressing to conceal IEDs which killed many thousands .

      • Eluba Inas

        Not hijab, may be the wig. We are talking of hijab not burka.

  • Isaac Boro

    THE VIRGIN MARY IS THE LAW. VIRGIN MARY WAS NOT A LAW- ABIDING CITIZEN. VIRGIN MARY IS THE MOTHER OF GOD. VIRGIN MARY IS THE PORTAL OF CREATION. VIRGIN MARY DID NOT WEAR A HIJAB. VIRGIN MARY IS CLOAKED IN GLORY AND MAGNIFICENCE. VIRGIN MARY IS THE CO-CREATOR OF THE WORLD.. VIRGIN MARY CANNOT BE OPPRESSED. VIRGIN MARY IS THE MOTHER OF MERCY. VIRGIN MARY BLESSED THE KING OF ABYSSINIA AND TOLD HIM TO GIVE THE FLEEING MUSLIMS REFUGE IN ABYSSINIA. WITHOUT VIRGIN MARY THE EARLY MUSLIMS WOULD HAVE BEEN WIPED OUT.

  • CB

    I will put ơn my garment under my dress as chrístian, put ơn my Ảladura cấp ổn my wig. I want the world to know am chrístian but does it make sense? .

  • share Idea

    Can all these busy-body advise their members that are currently judges or SAN to were Hijab to court if they are really serious with their case. I see this as another distraction from this administration to divert the minds of gullible from incompetent administration of the country.

    Can we have a national conference to decide how we can live togther if these people are so strong about their religious injuctions, and does not like to follow approved norms.