Hijab isn’t an Option, it’s an Obligation – Muslim women

A coalition of Nigerian Muslim women groups under the aegis of Hijab Rights Advocacy Initiative on Wednesday said their constitutional rights were being infringed upon by some government and private agencies because of the use of hijab.

At a press conference to mark the World Hijab Day in Lagos , the coalition lamented that most women in hijab had been denied jobs and other opportunities in the country , even when they were qualified for such jobs .

The body comprised Al – Muminat , the Criterion , Muslim Society of Nigeria , Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria , and Guild of Muslim Professionals .

The Coordinator of the group , Hajia Mutiat Orolu-Balogun , said Muslim women in hijab were forced to expose their ears and heads before sitting for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination or getting Bank Verification Numbers.

Orolu- Balogun said , “Imagine being asked to take off your shirt because you want to get your driving licence , or being told that you would not be able to vote because you wouldn ’t show your cleavage in the picture on your voter card.

“ These , and worse , are what a Muslim woman who wears the hijab faces when she is asked to take off her hijab before she could be allowed her constitutional rights. ”

She said the use of hijab was a religious obligation and not an Arab culture that one might discard at will .

A leader of one of the Muslim groups , Hajia Hafsah Badru, urged the media to demonstrate objectivity in reporting cases related to use of hijab.

“ Asking a Muslim woman to remove her hijab is a form of violence against her ; such should have no place in a progressive society like Nigeria , ” she added .

Punch Ng

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