A Coalition of Nigerian Muslim Women on Thursday called for the review of Dress Code in all professions to allow female Muslims use Hijab in all professions without discrimination and intimidation.
Hajiya Mariya Sani, member of the coalition, made the call while briefing newsmen as part of activities of the coalition to mark the 2018 World Hijab Day in Abuja.
The theme of this year’s world hijab day is: “We can do it too,”#Stronginhijab. She said the call became necessary due to increased harassment and intimidation of female Muslims who used Hijab in obedience to the commandments of the Almighty Allah.
“ The saga of Amasa AbdusSalam Firdaus Al-Janaah though indeed an unfortunate one, brings to the fore, the dislocations that exist within our journey of nation building.
“ The colonial legacies we still hold on to have long expired and we need to move on in the direction of justice, mutual respect and common values that enhance our nationhood.
Sani stressed the need for all stakeholders to understand the common values of freedom, respect and fellowship, and discharge their duty as required in an environment of mutual co-existence.
“ We remain resilient in exercising our rights and freedoms guaranteed by our creator and the 1999 Constitution that governs our affairs as citizens of Nigeria.
“ Our position is that all stakeholders should respect and abide by all relevant provisions in the Nigerian Constitution and various international conventions.
“ We use the occasion of this year’s World Hijab Day’ to advocate a general review of the dress code in all professions, where uniforms or specific designs are used such that female Muslims in such professions can wear suitable hijab without discrimination,
“she said. She said the review would allow female Muslims in their chosen professions to wear suitable Hijab without discrimination, condemnation or denial of their fundamental human rights.
Sani explained that Hijab was not just a piece of cloth that covers a woman’s head, adding that it was a symbol of modesty that embodies the way a person walks, talks, looks and thinks. She further said that Hijab was a basic tenet of the religion of Islam and applies to both men and women in different ways.
“ Though men do not cover their bodies, they are obligated to dress modestly, and conduct themselves in a decent manner especially in their interactions with women.“ Sani, therefore, called on individuals and institutions to support and stand for Muslim women’s right to wear or use Hijab wherever they are.
She admonished Muslim women to adorn Hijab in its proper form with pride and dignity and encouraged those who are still in the process of building the spiritual stamina to realise its value.
Sani appealed to those who are profiling, labeling Muslim women that wear hijab to desist from such behaviour, saying “ let the constitution that binds us prevail. “