Muslim youth reject Lagos government’s ban on Hijab

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos

A Muslim youth group has condemned the recent ban on Hijabs in public schools in Lagos.

The National Council of Muslim youth organisations, NACOMYO, Lagos State chapter has rejected the ban on the use of Hijab in the Lagos state public schools by the state government.

The commissioner of education, Olayinka Oladunjoye, had announced the ban recently.

“The state has banned the use of Hijab in public schools, that the student can only wear hijab during Salat – Muslim prayer, or when they want to read the Qur’an.

“That any parent who wishes that his/her child must wear hijab should take such child to a Muslim private school,” the commissioner had stated.

But NACOMYO said in a statement signed by the State coordinator and publicity secretary, Abdul Fattah Ibn Raji and Moshood B. Abdul –Wasi, on Monday that the ban as announced by the Lagos State government is discriminatory.

The group said it shows “the hypocritical nature of the state government, but equally represents a lack of a common sense of duty and an attempt by the government to neglect the basic duty of governance of providing egalitarian society where human virtues and dignity are allowed to thrive”.

NACOMYO said it finds it “repulsive that a government will be so insensitive and wishes that anybody who is displeased with this obnoxious policy should go to Muslim schools in flagrant disregard to public justice and fairness to the large population of Muslims in the state”.

The group said the government’s pronouncement “is not only condemnable but also unacceptable by the Muslims in the state”.

ACN is anti-Islam

The group accused the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in the state as running an anti-Islam policy.

“You will recall that most of the ACN led government policies have always been anti Islam since inception of office.

“The Mosque demolition at the state secretariat and the unfulfilled promises of building another ultra-modern one is still fresh.

“The hatred of Fashola led government is amply noticed in his failure to attend any Islamic programme, where as he is usually seen in other programmes outside of Islam,” the group alleged in its statement.

What is wrong with Hijab?

NACOMYO said it is puzzled that such a policy is being pursued by the Lagos state government, as according to them wearing the hijab poses no threat to the “cooperate integrity of the school and the state”.

“Does the wearing of hijab in anyway hinder proper assimilation in the school?” the group asked.

“How can this government explicate the contradictions between the wearing of hijab and skimpy dresses in the school system? Or do the concepts of modernity and freedom preclude fair dealings in ACN parlance?

NACOMYO compared the Lagos policy against hijab with other obtainable in the world.

“In the most advanced democracies like United Kingdom, the Muslim police women are allowed to wear their hijab and even in South Africa, one is not discriminated on the basis of religion.

“NACOMYO and all the Muslims state it unequivocally that the wearing of hijab by our Muslim children in public schools and elsewhere is their religious duty that cannot be contradicted or taken away by hatred or volition of any government, it is even not negotiable,” the group said.

Appeal for retraction

NACOMYO urged the state government to refrain from depriving Muslims the right to practice their religion and retract the ban as it will be in the interest of peace and fairness.

“The situation in the public school which is for both Muslims and Christians is unfavourable to Muslims with regards to how assemblies are conducted in Christian way, to the dressing code in the school, and the content of teaching which in most cases do not include Islamic religion studies”.

“It is rather unfortunate that anyone will refer Muslims to go to Muslim schools instead of doing the right thing, government should wake up to her avowed duties of fairness and peaceful conduct of affairs, and make sure all these issues are given adequate and swift attention they required, because what is sauce for the goose should equally sauce for the gander,” the group said.


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  • authority

    Lagos state goverment is d main calamity of lagos state

  • Bubak

    Fashola if are trying to criple Islam, God will surely criple u first. Is it the Hijab that is distracting or those that are dressing half neked? Fooool

    • Jadesola Fakayode

      Bubak, I will like to draw your attention to a conversation I had with Mr. AbdurRasaq on this same issue. By the way as a Nigerian citizen, I am in FULL support of Gov Fashola’s decision. In the conversation I attempted to have with Mr. AbdurRasaq, he disagreed with Gov Fashola. Also, Mr. AbdurRasaq disagreed with me because according to him “Islamic culture overrides all other cultures..” That to me is frightening as a fellow Nigerian. I told Mr. AbdurRasaq that his position is the theoretical and social basis of TERRORISM, and we cannot allow TERRORISM in the south western part of Nigeria. It just does not make sense to import terrorism again to south western part of our country after all we are going thru together as a country. As a Nigerian citizen of western cultural extraction, I have two objections to you and Mr. AbdurRasaq. First, Importing terrorism to southwestern part of Nigeria or any part of Nigeria at all IS A VIOLATION OF ALL OF US NIGERIANS. That is my primary argument against Mr. AbdurRasaq and you. But I have a secondary argument which is an appeal to Yoruba Cultures and the Social history of Yoruba peoples. Yoruba cultures are INHERENTLY PLURAL, INCLUSIVE AND NON-HEGEMONIC. We tend to shy away from dominating “others” even when we also resist domination very fiercely, but peacefully with our minds and brains. Our fierce resistance of domination is a product of the fact that we do not dominate “others”. Please note that I am putting “others” in quote because I really do NOT believe there is the so-called “others”. We are, ALL HUMANS ARE ALL ONE BODY according to the way we were brought up. So Importing terrorism to south western part VIOLATES this age old Yoruba plural, inclusive and non-hegemonic ethos and cultures. Why do you want to do that? Now check your language and reference to Gov Fashola. It is riddled with the language of a potential terrorist,(I presume you are Yoruba) and it is un-Yoruba-the secondary argument I am appealing to in my objection to you and Mr. AbdurRasaq in the other posts. Your language is not the language of “ọmọlúwàbí” -the Yoruba very quintessential essence of civility and civic relationship with your fellow humans, your fellow tax payers regardless of where they come from, regardless of the way he/she looks, regardless of the religion or culture he/she upholds. But as you can see you are beginning to use the language of the terrorist(Boko Haram and Creek/Asari dokubo terrorists) which is uncouth and forceful. It is un-plural. It is the language of domination and hegemony. It is not good. Finally, I have copied and I am pasting the summary of my conversation with Mr. AbdurRasaq on this platform for your education, and the education of others. Please read.

      “AbdurRasaq: These are your words: “Let me add this, Islam and its teaching to MUSLIM is like soul to human body. Ü dare not seperate them if either of them is to stay alive. Islam to US is a total way of LIFE, it overrule our cultures and tradition as an individual and group of people. ISLAM spells out Hijab as a compulsory outfit of a female, this you cannot denied or deprive us from. …” I have the following to
      say. (i) This is theocracy. (ii) Theocracy can be practised in a mono-religious, mono-cultural country (iii) Theocracy cannot be practised in a multi-religious and multi-cultural country like Nigeria. This is because you will have to choose which of the religions to adopt as the state religion. In an age in Nigeria where people no longer read,
      where Nigerian education has collapsed, where as a result of the collapse of education people are prone to use force and their hands and guns rather than their brains and minds to iron things out (e.g. Boko Haram and Asari Dokubo type of Creek terrorisms)-even if it is correct to adopt a religion-it can never be done rationally for the reasons of the pervasive illiteracy in the land. It means both IGNORANT MUSLIMS AND
      IGNORANT CHRISTIANS WILL INSIST THAT THEIR RELIGION IS THE ONE TO ADOPT
      AS THE STATE RELIGION, AND THEY WILL USE FORCE TO PRESS HOME THEIR
      FORCED CHOICE. THAT IS WHAT IS CALLED TERRORISM. THE CONTEMPLATION OF
      THEOCRACY IN A MULTI-RELIGIOUS SOCIETY LIKE NIGERIA IS THE THEORETICAL
      AND INTELLECTUAL BASIS OF TERRORISM. IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. Finally
      YOU BOLDLY ASSERTED THAT ISLAM OVERRULES ALL CULTURES AND LAWS. And that proposition is the basis of your justification for the wearing of hijab
      IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS JOINTLY OWNED BY ALL TAX PAYERS. Now Mr. AbdurRasaq,
      how do want other Nigerians who are not muslims take this your proposition that Islamic cultures override all cultures and laws? If Islam overrides the only laws which I , a non-muslim can appeal to, how do I have conversation with you as a fellow Nigerian? You see supposed I am not a muslim, it means I cannot use Islamic laws. You
      need to allow that. You need to concede that to me even if grudgingly. It is not that Islamic laws are bad or good. The point is that I am not a muslim, so I cannot use your(Islamic) laws. And you claim that the Nigerian laws which (i) you as a muslim, and (ii) your fellow Nigerian who is a christian and (iii) other fellow Nigerians who profess other faith and who are atheists can appeal to are OVERRIDEN BY ISLAMIC
      CULTURES AND LAWS. Now based on this how can we have conversation?-Based on this how can we continue conversation? You see terrorism CLOSES conversation. You have CLOSED this conversation the very moment you claimed that Islamic culture OVERRIDES Nigerian cultures and laws. As a fellow Nigerian, I tried to continue the conversation with you hoping that you will see reason. But it is obvious that you
      cannot see reason with your committment to theocracy in a multi-religious society. For us to be able to have conversation and continue it you may have to reconsider your commitment to theocracy in a multi-religious society like Nigeria. But given that your theocracy shuts down conversation, and given that the implication of that is
      terrorism, we will be on the look out for any attampt to import terrorism to the south western part of our country. With the experience of Boko Haram and MEND creek, Asari Dokubo type of terrorisms behind us, we, Nigerian citizens are more experienced now to detect the seeds of terrorism when they raised their heads. And together we Nigerians
      will work against it COLLECTIVELY PEACEFULLY as we are doing now, anywhere terrorism raises its head in our country Nigeria. You closed the conversation the moment you claimed Islamic cultures override ALL CULTURES, that include Nigerian Cultures and laws. As a Nigerian citizen who will not take side with any religion or culture, I can only appeal to Nigerian laws, and NOT to any sectional ethnic or religious law or
      culture. Therefore since you shut down the conversation by yourself because you did not give me any elbow room to appeal to a common law and culture(Nigerian) which bind you and I, (because you said Islamic culture overrides it) then before we continue you need to open and unlock the conversation again by re-considering your commitment to
      theocracy in a multi-religious society like Nigeria. Thank you Mr.
      AbdurRasaq.

      • peace

        let me ask u these simple question @fakayode, is wearing hijab a terrorism act? or, do you mean that every female that wear hijab is a terrorist? And then why are we calling Nigeria a multi-religion country if their is no freedom of showcasing your religion. because the use/wearing of hijab is the way we Muslim women showcase our religion.

        • Jadesola Fakayode

          Please pay attention to the conversation. It is not the wearing but the JUSTIFICATION as argued by Mr. AbdurRasaq. Do not just rush. The basis of Terrorism is INTOLERANCE. And this is what Mr. AbdurRasaq said: “Let me add this, Islam and its teaching to MUSLIM is like soul to human
          body. Ü dare not seperate them if either of them is to stay alive.
          Islam to US is a total way of LIFE, it overrule our cultures and
          tradition as an individual and group of people. ISLAM spells out Hijab
          as a compulsory outfit of a female, this you cannot denied or deprive
          us from. .” Please INTERPRET TO FELLOW NIGERIAN CITIZENS WHAT THIS CLAIM MEANS. TELL US WHAT IT MEANS TO SAY “…ISLAM CULTURES AND TRADITION OVERRULE OUR CULTURES…TRADITION..” WHAT DOES IT MEAN PEACE? It simply means ISLAM CANNOT CO-EXIST WITH OTHER NIGERIAN CULTURES AND LAWS. As far as I am concerned Nigerian laws are supreme to any religious and ethnic laws. Nigerian laws are sovereign. But Mr. AbdurRasaq’s post disagrees with that i.e with the sovereignty of Nigerian laws over sub cultures like religious and ethnic cultures. And that is unacceptable in a modern and sovereign state. Look, this is basic English language. So what does Mr. AbdurRasaq statement mean? Mr. AbdurRasaq’s statement which is a justification of Isalmic practices that do not take Nigerian laws into consideration is what I said is the seed of TERRORISM. TERRORISM simply means “I cannot co-exist with you” . And that is what Mr. AbdurRasaq’s post means. Okay? Hope this helped? Next time READ and DIGEST before making your contribution.

          • normal kid

            In the united states people are allowed to wear the higab anywhere they wish so for people like you who are “nigerins of western cultural extract ion,”that is something you have to consider.It is so saddening to think that these type of topics are what the governor is running after when we have major problems such as electricity,water,roads,etc.and before you repeat any more quotes from mr abdurasaq,I did NOT say that Islam should override all Nigerian laws,I just said that those female Muslims whose parents might not be able to afford going to private muslim schools should be able to practice their religion freely and wear the higab

          • Saadiana – Ankpa

            you have commented based on ‘your’ understanding…. but check yourself and respond to this? WHO IS NOT TOLERATING HERE? SKIMPY/HALF NAKED CLOTHING(WESTERN) OR THE HIJAB? you guys go ahead and wear ‘your’ clothes and let them wear their hijabs… the truth is… you feel this moral burden when you are dressed western(naked) and you expect others to do same but they don’t… BUT YOU DON’T CARE IF THEY WEAR BUMP-SHORT(?) OR MINI SKIRTS, then why hijab? may God remove the blind fold so we can see.. just do your own thing and leave them alone…

  • damilare

    If the muslims want the Lagos state govt to remove official uniforms from school and replace those uniforms with hijab for muslims, then the lagos state govt has lost its power to legislate for all on equal grounds, and on the basis of equity. But if Lagos state govt allows this, please LAGOS STATE MUST PUT IT IN WRITING THAT (I) SCHOOL UNIFORM IS CANCELLED IN LAGOS STATE AND (II) THAT ALL RELIGIONS ARE FREE AND EVERYONE IS FREE TO DO WHAT HE/SHE LIKES, EVERYONE IS FREE TO WEAR WHAT HE/SHE LIKES TO SCHOOL. Then I should be free to come to school naked. Buddhists, Orisa faith, Hindi, White garment christians, masqeurades, atheists etc are free to wear what they like to school. Lagos state gvt will be VIOLATING my right if it grants hijab to muslims in schools and it does not grant same rights to others including those who want to come to school naked.

    • samfad

      I agree with you 100%. If you can’t tolerate the ways of other people, why should you expect others to tolerate your? The power to legislate and regulate standard acceptable mores belongs to the government and if they fail in this regard, lawlessness will reign supreme and that is why it appeared today that Nigeria has no direction.
      If you are interested in Federal University of Oye (FUOYE) for 2013 admission, please visit our website http://www.fuoye.edu.ng for details

  • Jafbawa

    Fashola is beginning to lost the good tracking record he has initiated in Lagos state since his assumption into office,I am not a lagosian but i want to believe that there are more pressing issues that need to be address in Lagos state more that the above subject matter.I dont why pple like making too much noise without basic facts,with or without the use of Hijab-the act of terrorism whether social or moral is paramount to any kind of environment,location or ethnicity .All we need to be doing is to strongly continue to pray for the peaceful co-existence of the NATION

    • Dimeji Akintomiwa

      Jafbawa, I disagree with you on Gov Fashola;s track record. He is NOT begining to lose track of his good record. he is on COURSE. But more importantly, I have a question for you: Do you agree with other Nigerian citizens that we need to quickly nip terrorism in the bud before it raises its head? What do you think?

    • Banke Gbemisola

      No you are wrong, terrorism is NOT paramount to any kind of environment, location or ethnicity. It is a social phenomenon that can be dealt with. The way to do it is NOT to let it raise its head in the first place. And we all can do that by using our local resources, cultural tools from below, our assumptions about life, our sense of ethics, values etc to PREVENT our youths and children from BUYING into hating others. We can use our local mores to SHOW that all humans regardless of differences in religion and non-religion should be loved and respected EQUALLY. If we do this we will PREVENT terrorism BEFORE it happens WITHOUT having to (i) declare state of emergency, (ii) waste money on so-called security contract -money that goes into private pockets etc In other words PRVENTION IS BETTER AND CHEAPER AND MORE EFFECTIVE THAN CURE.

  • Undisputed truth

    ” The National Council of Muslim Youth Organization Ikorodu, Lagos Nigeria held in conjunction with the Cultural Consulate of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran a one day Quran and Quiz competition being an annual event usually exercised in the holy month of Ramadan to mark the Revelation of the glorious Quran and to inculcate its teachings to the Muslims.” -(source Iranian cultural website ——- Well NACOMYO is this where you are getting your ideas from? Are we going to go down the route of intolerance in Lagos state. How much are these people paying you?

    • Saadiana – Ankpa

      cant find any sense in your comment…. what are you trying to say actually… what’s the quote about?

  • this is anti Islamic decisions and this mattar need to be tackle y always muslims the state government should please think twice about the subject matter