Our Hijab is our PVC – Women groups
Hijab is Allah’s injunction. Our hijab is our own Permanent Voters Card (PVC). The time for us to take massive action has come. Hijab is not a sign of oppression.
Above was the submission of Muslim women and students on Sunday when they stormed the streets of Lagos to protest about their continuous harassment in schools and workplaces.
The female Muslims said that despite their peaceful nature, they are being molested and victimised for putting on their hijab.
The awareness rally was organized by members of Al-Mu’minaat (The Believing Women) Organisation, Federation of Muslim Women (FOMWAN), Nasrul- lahi -li Fathi Society of Nigeria (NASFAT) and the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) and Organization of Tadhamunul Muslimeen (OTM) among others.
While displaying placards with inscriptions explaining the essence of using hijab, the leadership of the various Islamic organisations said the rally was organized in commemoration of the 2019 World Hijab Day, WHD.
It was held simultaneously in three venues; Maryland to Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park, Ojota, Roundabout bus stop Otto to Cele bus stop Ijanikin and from Joju round about to Sango round about.
Speaking with newsmen, the Amirah of Al-Mu’minaat in Lagos State, Alhaja Khadijah Abdus-Salam, condemned the idea of government officials harassing female Muslims for wearing Hijab in schools, workplaces among other places.
“We will continue to engage with all relevant stakeholders in a non-violent and constitutional means until all Muslim women, who are willing to, are free to enjoy their constitutional rights to wear hijab in all situations.”
“Rather than fight young girls who are willing to obey their Creator and dress decently, we should all support the Federal Government to fight corruption to a stand still.”
They also called on government at all levels to ensure a free and peaceful elections throughout the country. And urged parents to advised their children to shun all forms of violence before, during and after the elections.
According to her, 2019’s WHD commemoration is with a mixed feeling; “We are happy that the awareness and campaign had gained considerate momentum so much that it is marked in so many countries. However, the antagonists of Hijab project have unabatedly continue their projects and persecution of our school girls and women in Hijab. Some school principals brutalize school girls for no reasons other than wearing Hijab, why this?”
“Some of the questions that I have being asked is “Why does Islam make Hijab mandatory for women? Why do you choose to cover? Hijab is not oppression, it is expulsion from harassment and other vices. It is freedom from disrespect, prying eyes of lustful men in the society.
“We are treated differently and looked upon differently because of what we wear, some look at Hijab as a form of enslavement, it is not, rather it’s liberating. We are being harassed with a metal detector, body search and passing through an extra security check, why? Enough is Enough! Stop this discrimination! Hijab tells those I meet to deal with my intellect and not to focus on my body.
“Hijab has come to stay, it is a divine injunction and the word of our Lord is true. We say to the world; Let us be! Let the Hijabis make their choice, don’t design what we should wear, our Lord is the Best Designer. It is not something that I might want or not want to do; it is something I have to do. Does wearing Hijab affect you personally or has an effect on the society? Let us be!”
Hajia Mujeedat Abajo Musa of NASFAT, described hijab as a constitutional right that is capable of reducing rape in the society.
She said, “With hijab, the issue of rape can be reduced in a state like Lagos. For peace to reign, we want them to respect us.”
also speaking, Hajia Olaoluwa Rahma, representing Lagos MSSN, urged Muslim women to be bold to put on their hijab.
“Our hijab is our right. We should never be shy to defend ourselves. We should always speak up. As Muslims, we must be free from oppression. Let us be free to put on our hijab anywhere, including schools. You have a legal right to wear the hijab, enjoy it,” she said.
On her part, FOMWAN’s representative, Hajia Rofiat Owonikoko, said that Islamic organisations won’t stop engaging the government and appropriate authorities if hijab harassment persists.
The Coordinator of Social Advocacy Project, Hajia Sherifah Yusuf-Ajibade said, “I think it is bigotry and Islamophobia that will make some people to keep molesting Muslims wearing Hijab. Everywhere in the world, there is freedom of religion. If you don’t deny other peoples’ right, why should you be disturbed to practice your own right? People in public schools abroad are not denied their right to use the hijab, why should ours be different?”