The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Area Unit has hailed the judgement granting female students the right to wear hijab in all public schools in Osun State.
In a judgement delivered on Friday, June 3, 2016 by Justice Jide Falola, female Muslim students can now wear hijab in all public primary and secondary schools in the state.
While delivering the judgement, Justice Falola of the Osun State High Court, Osogbo ruled that the use of hijab by female Muslim students was their fundamental human right to freedom of religion, conscience and thought.
As such, Justice Falola said no female Muslim student must be molested or sent out of school for wearing it.
According to him, all students have equal rights to practice their religion since government has taken over all missionary schools in 1975.
However, the Justice in a 51-page judgement warned that the hijab to be worn by the students should match the colour of their school uniforms.
While reacting to the development, the Amir of MSSN Lagos, Saheed Ashafa, said the judgment was in order.
According to him, Justice Falola deserves to be commended for upholding the position of the constitution.
He explained that it remained shocking that Muslim students are currently denied their right to wear Hijab in Lagos State public schools.
Ashafa said, “The judgment is a good one, it shows that the judge is incorruptible by upholding the position of the sacrosanct constitution of Nigeria. However, it is appalling and embarrassing that a High Court denied such right in Lagos State. The judgement in Osun State shows the supremacy of the constitution and such is expected to be emulated in Lagos State.
“Just like the Osun State Muslim Community and MSSN, we in Lagos State too have proved to be law abiding by proceeding to court to stop the harassment and embarrassment of Muslim students in hijab. Our interaction with victims harassed and molested for wearing Hijab showed that their experiences are horrible and have negative effects on their psyches. We fear that if such is allowed to continue our children – the future generation – may grow with hatred for their counterparts in other religions.”
While commending the Osun Muslim Community and MSSN for their doggedness, Ashafa expressed optimism over the expected judgment from the full panel set up to hear the hijab case in Lagos by the Court of Appeal president.
“We won’t stop trusting Allah and we are confident that the rightful position of the constitution will be upheld. Being Allah’s injunction to wear hijab with sections of the constitution supporting it, we don’t expect anything different from what Justice Falola delivered in Osun State hijab case.”
The case was instituted in February, 2013 by the Osun State Muslim Community and Muslim Students Society of Nigeria.
The applicants had sought the relief of the court to compel the Osun State Government to allow female Muslim students to wear Hijab in public primary and secondary schools.
The Osun State Chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria also applied to be joined in the case as defendants, arguing that Hijab should not be allowed in public schools.