Lagos– The Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC) has actually invited the judgment at the Osun State High Court releasing Muslim women pupils to use hijab at college.
The Osun State Muslim Community filed the case against the state government on the imposition of bans on wearing the clothing.
In his 51-page judgment, Justice Jide Falola has noted the use of hijab by female Muslims was their fundamental human right to freedom of religion, conscience and thought and as such no female student must be molested or sent out of school for wearing it.
Falola also declared that since all missionary schools had been taken over by government in 1975, all students have equal rights to practice their religions.
Disu Kamor, Executive Chairman of MPAC, applauded the ruling in the case, which he said firmly underscored that courts should not blindly defer when the government invoked its powers to curtail fundamental rights.
“What remains to be seen is a timeline for the implementation of this ruling and clarification as to whether the current mindset allowing the discriminatory policy in the first place will remain,” said Kamor.
He hoped the ruling would stand as another legal precedent and a symbol of hope for students in Lagos State public schools suffering harassment for wearing the hijab at school.
Kamor said the issue of the hijab was one that united all Muslims as it is an integral part of a Muslim woman’s right to practice her religion.
“The support that the hijab campaigns have attracted clearly reflects the fact that, for the Muslim students, justice and freedom are principles that cannot be compromised.”
The hijab is a veil that covers the head and chest, which is particularly worn by some Muslim women beyond the age of puberty in the presence of adult males outside of their immediate family .