Hijab Controversy: NSCIA speaks again, vows to fight for justice; urges restraint by Muslims

Sultan of Sokoto, Sa'ad Abubakar III [Photo Credit: Daily Trust]
Sultan of Sokoto, Sa'ad Abubakar III [Photo Credit: Daily Trust]

The umbrella body of Nigerian muslims, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, has again spoken about the current hijab controversy rocking the Nigerian Law School.

The group had on Tuesday sent a statement to PREMIUM TIMES signed by its Deputy Secretary General, Salisu Shehu, a professor, accusing the Nigerian Law School of lawlessness and Islamophobia.

NSCIA was responding to the refusal of the authorities of the Nigerian Law School to call to bar Firdausa Amasa for wearing a hijab during the call to bar ceremony.

The group had threatened nationwide protest and a fierce legal action should the law school fail to rescind its decision not to call Ms. Amasa to the bar.

In the second statement on Thursday, also signed by Mr. Shehu, the NSCIA said while it appreciated the support of Nigerians on the matter, it however advised “ strongly that nobody should take the laws into his/her hands”.

The group asked Nigerians to “show restraint no matter the level of our worry and however much we may be provoked. This is what Islam teaches us and we must abide by the teachings.

“ Many are ignorant of the level of provocation this intolerant act of the Council for Legal Education has ignited.

We wish to assure our Muslim brothers and sisters that we will not relent on this matter and we will doggedly follow all legitimate ways to resist this apparent injustice.

“Our focus is to secure our constitutional rights in the Nigerian System. We are having issues only with the governmental authorities, organizations, institutions and instruments that deny us those rights or persecute and oppress us for demanding our rights,” the NSCIA said.

The organisation also said it had to speak for the second time and call for caution “ because of critical matters that have been arising out of it (the controversy)”

The NSCIA appreciated the overwhelming support the Muslim community not only in Nigeria but all over the world has given to Ms Amasa.

“ Similarly appreciated are thousands of non-Muslims who supported her position and with unbiased and objective minds stood for justice and fairness” .

The statement said the concerns and worries of Muslims all over the world on the issue of Miss Amasa, who, for wearing a hijab under her wig was wrongfully denied the opportunity of being called to the Nigerian bar as Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria with her colleagues, on the 13th December, 2017 were certainly justified.

“ It is undoubtedly painful that, after encouraging our female children to strive to acquire Education, they are unnecessarily and unjustifiably being persecuted and constantly put against the unwholesome, uncharitable and unworthy options of having to either choose between disregarding/disrespecting their essential religious tenets and values or the opportunity of the qualifications/certificates they struggle and strive hard to obtain.

“ The NSCIA is not unaware of the persecutions and molestations the Muslim mothers, sisters and daughters go through in various institutions of learning, on NYSC orientation camps and other specialized and professional training schools simply because they choose to observe their Hijabs. This has to stop we cover our heads not our brains,” the group said.

NSCIA assured all Muslim faithful that it would not relent on the matter and “ will doggedly follow all legitimate ways to resist this apparent injustice,” adding “our focus is to secure our constitutional rights in the Nigerian System.”

READ FULL STATEMENT BELOW;

RE: STOP PRESS! HIJAB IS CONSTITUTIONAL

The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) under the leadership of its President-General, His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR,mni., is once again obliged to make a second Press Statement on the issue of our dear Sister Firdausa Amasa. This has become necessary because of critical matters that have been arising out of it. First of all the NSCIA appreciates the overwhelming support which the Muslim Ummah not only in Nigeria but all over the World have given to the correct position of the young lady. Similarly appreciated are thousands of non-Muslims who supported her position and with unbiased and objective minds stood for justice and fairness.

The concerns and worries of Muslims all over the world on the issue of Miss Firdausa Al-jannah Amasa, who, for wearing a hijab under her wig was wrongfully denied the opportunity of being called to the Nigerian bar as Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria with her colleagues, on the 13th December, 2017 were certainly justified.

It is undoubtedly painful that, after encouraging our female children to strive to acquire Education, they are unnecessarily and unjustifiably being persecuted and constantly put against the unwholesome, uncharitable and unworthy options of having to either choose between disregarding/disrespecting their essential religious tenets and values or the opportunity of the qualifications/certificates they struggle and strive hard to obtain.

The NSCIA is not unaware of the persecutions and molestations the Muslim mothers, sisters and daughters go through in various institutions of learning, on NYSC orientation camps and other specialized and professional training schools simply because they choose to observe their Hijabs. This has to stop we cover our heads not our brains.

While appreciating the support of our people on this particular issue, the Council wishes to advise strongly that nobody should take the laws into his/ her hands. We must show restraint no matter the level of our worry and however much we may be provoked. This is what Islam teaches us and we must abide by the teachings. Many are ignorant of the level of provocation this intolerant act of the Council for Legal Education has ignited.

We wish to assure our Muslim brothers and sisters that we will not relent on this matter and we will doggedly follow all legitimate ways to resist this apparent injustice. Our focus is to secure our constitutional rights in the Nigerian System. We are having issues only with the governmental authorities, organizations, institutions and instruments that deny us those rights or persecute and oppress us for demanding our rights.

We wish to seize this opportunity to inform all that the correct name of the concerned sister is Miss Firdausa Al-jannah Amasa

And our final prayer is that all praise is due to Allah, the Almighty, Lord of the Worlds.

Signed

Prof. Salisu Shehu
Deputy Secretary-General


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