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Osun Muslims, Christians trade words over hijab

By Sam Oluwalana (Ibadan Bureau Chief)   |   28 June 2016   |   5:15 am

hijabA group, the Muslim Ummah South West Nigeria (MUSWEN), has cautioned its Christian counterparts in Osun State against encouraging what they described as disobedience of a valid court order on wearing of Hijab, by their children.

In a swift reaction, the Christians insisted that Hijab is not part of school uniform and so would not encourage whatever would cause discrimination in schools.

At a press conference it addressed at Ibadan, Oyo State capital, MUSWEN said its members had been suffering discrimination and unfair treatment in the hands of the Christians since the period of the colonial masters.

In a statement titled ‘‘The crisis over Hijab in Osun State: Our response’ read on its behalf by its Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, Prof. Dawud Noibi, the Muslim body, which refers to itself as the umbrella body for all Muslim organisations and institutions in the South west zone, claimed that in the court judgment which was delivered on June 3, 2016 by Justice Jide Falola had ruled that the use of Hijab by female Muslims is their fundamental human right to freedom of religion, conscience and thought and sas such no student of the faith should be molested or sent out of school.

The body advised the members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to heed what it said was an advice recently given by a Christian leader, in which he said that the nation should adopt the policy that no law should prohibit what religion prescribes or requires citizens to do.

It also wondered why the wearing of Hijab, which is just a veil, that covers only the upper body of its wearer, should be a source of offence to those of the Christian faith.

‘‘How does a Muslim girl’s wearing of Hijab offend a Christian? Moreover, the court ruling does not compel all Muslim students to wear Hijab. It is left entirely to the choice of the individual student who wishes to obey the order coming from her creator.’’

Noibi also alleged that the Muslims have demonstrated tolerance in what he alleged are the imposition of the vestiges of Christian colonial legacies, such as the observance on Sunday and later on Saturday for Seventh Day Adventists, as well as the Gregorian calendar

‘‘Let us all learn to adopt the spirit of give and take and accord our judiciary the respect that it deserves. Resort to self help will ultimately help nobody. It does not cost much for us to live together in peace and harmony,’’ the statement added.

Noibi explained that the only way people of the two main faiths in Nigeria can make progress in peace is by respecting those peculiarities that are synonymous with each of the bodies.

He said: ‘‘In our multi-religious, not secular, nation, the peculiarities of the groups that make up the Nigerian state, must be respected within the limits of the law. This is the only way by which we can all make progress together and in peace.”

He advised Muslims in the region to remain calm and shun all form all provocation, while the situation lasts.

“As always, we want to appeal to all Muslims to remain calm and not be provoked in spite of the challenging situation.”

In his reaction to the statement, the Secretary of the South West Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev Aro Alfred Oloruntoba, who spoke to The Guardian said his association supported the posture of its state chapter by instructing its children to wear cassocks and other wears they may deem fit to school.

“If they say it is the fundamental human rights of Muslims to wear humans to school, it is also the fundamental human rights of the Christians to wear cassocks and whatever that is wearable for them.

“Is hijab part of school uniform?. Uniforms are for uniformity, but when something else comes to discriminate, then it become something else,” he said.

The clergyman gave a condition under which Christians in Osun State would shed their garments.

“If they cease to wear Hijab, we shall cease to wear other clothes. There are Muslim students in Christian schools and they put on hijab to these schools. So what are we saying about that? What is good for the goose is also good for the gander. In this case, we have been pushed against the wall and we are reacting. However, we have not reacted violently. We are reacting peacefully.”

On the alleged discrimination of the Gregorian calendar against Muslims, Aro reacted with some rapid rhetorics. “Is Sunday a working day?. Friday is a working day. Supposing we decide that we want to declare holidays for the day that the holy spirit descended on the world and call it the Pentecost day. What would they say?”




  • Nuridin Adams

    It is very absurd for we the yoruba to a religiouse war. Are we not to smart for this?May Allah(God) save us from a religiose war.Amen

  • aiyekotto

    Aregbesola is actually smart. If Osun indigenes disagree, how can they fight his executive recklessness? Divide and rule.

    • Bako

      But playing with religion in a divide and rule game is dangerous and he Aregbe is the biggest loser!

  • What a shame! Is this not same Professor Noibi that once lived in England? For God’s sake how could such brilliant individual descend so low to be involved in this madness. It is wicked and unjustifiable to involve kids in this adults’ religion supremacy, religions that are not even of our ancestry. Kids want to learn adults would rather prefer to use them as pawn to push religion ideology.

    Would it diminish their faith if they did not wear hijab to their respective schools? All religion insignia should not be allowed when kids are in their school uniforms please. We are witnessing the process of religion upheaval and I sincerely hope and pray that if any disruption occurs as result of this madness the architects are all consumed. Tebi tebi, tomo tomo, eyin agba jati jati won yi, eni ni isinmi boti wu ko mo.

  • Tajudeen Alabede

    Hijab isn’t “veil”. Veil was not included in the press statement. Secondly, the picture that illustrates this story isn’t the type of hijab that the students use as part of their uniform.

  • Sincerity

    Has Aregbe paid both Christians and Muslims salaries owed?

    Wise-up my people,Hijab and Casock without Salary is nothing.

    Please come together and fight this monster!

    • Bako

      No not to some people. Take away their salaries and give them Ijab or sh@ria

  • Michael Irabor

    Religion as always been the greatest problem of Nigerians, When we remove the place of school uniform and we allow our children to put on their various religion out fit, what we are simply doing is putting or give the children the impression that they are not one, before you know it the children we start seeing them self as different group, when we were growing up we put on school uniform to school and we as children see our self as one Nigeria and brothers and sisters and as friends. if the Muslim put on Hijab to school and the Christians put on Cassock to school, very soon the Ifa people too we put on Ifa cloth and of cos the Masquerade people too will not be left out their children to will put on Egungun cloth too to the school, and no body should complain because it is their fundamental human right to freedom of religion, Everybody have equal right to their religion practice and believe. But the truth of the matter is that In the case of public schools everybody should be admonish to put on only recommended school uniform and do away with all religions out fit during school hours. In Republic of Benin you can easily identify government schools children through their uniform, they put on unified approved government cloth to schools. When you see student putting on different cloth then you know this ones are private schools. Right now Nigeria have a lot to solve at this challenging trial (period), rather than starring up unprofitable issues. Humanity comes first before religion, we should see our self as human being with one love,we were born as human and not as religion, anybody can be born by a Christian or a Muslim, For the fact that you were born a Christian or a Muslim as a child doesn’t mean you must be part of that group, you fine your self in the group because you were born, you are only fit to be in any religion when you are fully grown and if you feel you are okay with the religion u can stay in it or if the other way u can swift. You can’t swift religion as a child because your parent or guidance will not approved of it but as an adult you can. My reason for saying this is that you can change from been a Christian to a Muslim or Muslim to a christian it’s normal and its allow, But you can change from been a human being to something else. So get it straight we are all human being first before any religion let see our self as one with compromise love, full of respect for one another and do the right thing. Thank you.

  • Michael Irabor

    Religion as always been the greatest problem of Nigerians, When we remove the place of school uniform and we allow our children to put on their various religion out fit, what we are simply doing is putting or give the children the impression that they are not one, before you know it the children we start seeing them self as different group, when we were growing up we put on school uniform to school and we as children see our self as one Nigeria and brothers and sisters and as friends. if the Muslim put on Hijab to school and the Christians put on Cassock to school, very soon the Ifa people too we put on Ifa cloth and of cos the Masquerade people too will not be left out their children to will put on Egungun cloth too to the school, and no body should complain because it is their fundamental human right to freedom of religion, Everybody have equal right to their religion practice and believe. But the truth of the matter is that In the case of public schools everybody should be admonish to put on only recommended school uniform and do away with all religions out fit during school hours. In Republic of Benin you can easily identify government schools children through their uniform, they put on unified approved government cloth to schools. When you see student putting on different cloth then you know this ones are private schools. Right now Nigeria have a lot to solve at this challenging trial (period), rather than starring up unprofitable issues. Humanity comes first before religion, we should see our self as human being with one love,we were born as human and not as religion, anybody can be born by a Christian or a Muslim, For the fact that you were born a Christian or a Muslim as a child doesn’t mean you must be part of that group, you fine your self in the group because you were born there, you are only fit to be in any religion when you are fully grown and if you feel you are okay with the religion practices and believes u can stay in it and if the other way round u can swift. You can’t swift religion as a child because your parent or guidance will not approved of it but as an adult you can. My reason for saying this is that you can change from been a Christian to a Muslim or Muslim to a christian it’s normal and its allow, But you can not change from been a human being to something else. So get it straight we are all human being first before any religion let see our self as one with uncompromise love, full of respect for one another and do the right thing. Thank you.

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