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Position Of The Law On The Use Of Hijab/Veil In Public Institutions- O.G Chukkol - Islam for Muslims - Nairaland

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Position Of The Law On The Use Of Hijab/Veil In Public Institutions- O.G Chukkol by seguntijan(m): 9:41am On Dec 15, 2017
BY _O. G. CHUKKOL._

One of the challenges Muslim females are facing is the wearing of hijab. Hijab is a veil they use in covering their body. These challenges are found even in public institutions. The proscription of the use of veils is normally done through rules made in those institutions.

For example there has been complaint that hijab is not allowed in Nigerian Law School, it happened also in Kwara, Lagos, Osun State etc where students were not allowed to wear hijab to schools.

This article seeks to establish that prohibiting Muslim females from wearing veils in public institutions is unconstitutional. Whether the position is the same in private institutions or not is outside the scope of this article.

To clear a preliminary point, I am a Christian and shall by the grace of God die a Christian. This work is based on my little understanding of the law and love for rule of law. The work is also informed by my agreement with the words of Martin Luther King Jr. who once said:

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."

In other words, it is Muslim female facing it today, tomorrow it may be Christians. So, I feel spade should be called a spade.

Let us first examine the basis of the use of hijab by Muslim women. Chapter 24 verse 30-31 of the Glorious Holy Qur'an says:

“... Enjoin believing women to COVER THEIR GAZE and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that THEY SHOULD DRAW THEIR VEILS OVER THEIR BOSOMS AND NOT DISPLAY THEIR BEAUTY except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s father, their sons, their husband’s Sons, their brothers or their brother’s Sons or their sisters’ sons or other women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, ..."

It follows from the verse above that wearing of hijab by Muslim women is a Quranic injunction so a Muslim female is bound to obey it without question.

The next point is whether a Muslim female can capitalize on the provision of Glorious Qur’an to insist that she is entitled to wear Hijab everywhere. The answer is obviously in the affirmative.
Subsection (1) of section 38 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (2011 as amended), it provides as follows:

"Every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion...and IN PUBLIC or IN PRIVATE) to MANIFEST AND PROPAGATE his RELIGION or BELIEF in worship, teaching, PRACTICE and OBSERVANCE" (emphasis mine)

The constitution is a ground norm and by section 1(1) & (3) thereof, it is Supreme and binding on all authorities and persons in Nigeria and as well above the ordinary laws of the land. Since the constitution recognizes ones right to manifest ones religion and belief in practice and observance, a Muslim female, being a Nigerian too, has the right to wear her hijab anywhere.

In the case of PDP V CPC (2011) 17 NWLR (pt 1277) 485 at 511 ​it was held;

_“The Constitution of Nigeria is the grundnorm, otherwise known as the basic norm from which all the other laws of the society derive their validity. Each legal norm of the Society derives its validity from basic norm. Any other law that is in conflict with the provision of the Constitution must give way or abate”._

Courts have consistently held that, having regards to chapter 24:30-31 of the Holy Quran, a Muslim female has the unfettered right to wear her hijab anywhere.

The Court of Appeal Ilorin Division in the Unreported case of *THE PROVOST, KWARA STATE COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, ILORIN & 2 ORS VS BASHIRAT SALIU & 2 ORS Appeal No CA/IL/49/2006,
delivered on the 18th day of June, 2009, per Hussein Mukhtar, JCA,held at page 15 – 16 of the lead judgement thus:

“The foregoing verses of the Glorious Qur’an and Hadiths have left no room for doubt on the Islamic Injunction on women’s mode of dress, which is clearly in conformity with not only the Respondent’s veiled dress but also the controversial article J of the 3rd Applicants’ dress code. The use of veil by the respondents, therefore qualifies as a fundamental right under Section 38 (1) of the Constitution”.

The Court of Appeal further held per Massoud AbdulRahman Oredola, JCA at page 2 of the concurrent judgement;

“The right of the Respondents to wear their Hijab, veil within the School campus and INDEED ANYWHERE else is adequately protected under our laws. Human rights recognizes and protects religious rights. Section 38 of the
1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria guaranteed freedom of religion to all and sundry. Thus things that lawfully constitute OPEN MANIFESTATION, PROPAGATION, WORSHIP, TEACHING, PRACTICE AND OBSERVANCE of
the said religion are equally and by extension similarly guaranteed and protected by the Constitution. Indeed the Hijab, Niqab or Burqa, being part and parcel of Islamic code of dressing and by whatever standard a dignified
or vividly decent one cannot be taken away by any other law other than the Constitution”

Just last year, 2016, Justice Falola of the Osun State High Court restated the law as pronounced in the Court of Appeal decision above while delivering judgement in the case of Sheikh Oyinwola & Ors V The Governor of Osun state & Ors SUIT NO. HOS/M.17/2013 delivered on the 3rd of June, 2016. Bound by the time honoured principle of Judicial Precedent, the court held that the use of Islamically prescribed head cover called Hijab by the Muslim Female Students in all Primary and Secondary
Schools in Osun State forms part of their fundamental rights to
freedom of religion, conscience and thought as contained in Section
38 of 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and also declared that Article 8.2(v) of the “Guidelines on Administration
and Discipline in Osun State Public Schools“ issued by the Ministry
of Education prohibiting Muslim females from wearing hijab in public schools is not only discriminatory against Muslim female students but also uncalled for, inconsistent with Section 38 of 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and a clear violation of the fundamental rights of Muslim female
students in Public Schools in Osun State to freedom of religion and therefore null, void and of no effect whatsoever.

A month after, A specially constituted panel of the Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos on Thursday, July 21, 2016 unanimously reaffirmed its decision delivered in 2009 at Ilorin, Kwara state Division. It reversed the judgment of a Lagos State High Court in Ikeja which on October 17, 2014 banned the use of hijab in Lagos State public primary and secondary schools.
The appellate declared in a unanimous judgment on Thursday that the ban was discriminatory against Muslim pupils in the state.
It accordingly reinstated the use of hijab in Lagos schools.

This writer is not unaware that section 38 of the constitution (right to religion) is not absolute. The right is subject to section 45 of the constitution which gives government the right to disregard citizen's right to religion in the interest of defence, public safety,
public order, public morality or public health; or for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedom of other persons. For instance during the Bokoharam insurgency in the North East, government was right when it temporarily banned the use hijab because then some suicide bombers hid bombs therein.

Another example is the fact that every person has the right on religious ground (say Jehovah Witness sect refusal of blood transfusion) not to submit to treatment recommended by a doctor even if the refusal of treatment can lead to the death of the patient. However for the purpose of public interest, and relying on the authority of the Supreme Court decision in M.D.P.D.T. v. Okonkwo (2001) 6 NWLR (Pt.710), such right would be held in abeyance if the disease, like Ebola and the like, is contagious.

In the light of what has so far been stated and in the absence of any exceptional circumstance as the ones mentioned above, every Muslim female has the unfettered right to wear her hijab anywhere. Prohibition of wearing of hijab in some public institutions is unconstitutional. The institutions concerned are hereby advised to reverse those rules.

O. G. Chukkol is a student, Faculty of Law, ABU, Zaria.

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Re: Position Of The Law On The Use Of Hijab/Veil In Public Institutions- O.G Chukkol by PointZerom: 9:51am On Dec 15, 2017
Goan tell Aisha Buhari to dress like masquerade.

38 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Position Of The Law On The Use Of Hijab/Veil In Public Institutions- O.G Chukkol by Oksman(m): 10:01am On Dec 15, 2017
Christian indeed !
Be proud to identify with your religion.
There is nothing wrong in presenting facts to buttress your views on a forum like this; instead of being sentimental, by telling us how you will remain and die a Christian.

38 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Position Of The Law On The Use Of Hijab/Veil In Public Institutions- O.G Chukkol by PaChukwudi44(m): 10:11am On Dec 15, 2017
take this rubbish to your Islamic section.If you must comment further then acknowledge Jesus as your Lord and personal saviour

45 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Position Of The Law On The Use Of Hijab/Veil In Public Institutions- O.G Chukkol by Hashimyussufamao(m): 10:20am On Dec 15, 2017
A Christian just said this?? Can't must believe!!!
Re: Position Of The Law On The Use Of Hijab/Veil In Public Institutions- O.G Chukkol by Sokovilla(m): 10:23am On Dec 15, 2017
well said.'leave the hypocrites. we'll learn to tolerate one another in the future

6 Likes

Re: Position Of The Law On The Use Of Hijab/Veil In Public Institutions- O.G Chukkol by STARKACE(m): 10:23am On Dec 15, 2017
PaChukwudi44:
take this rubbish to your Islamic section.If you must comment further then acknowledge Jesus as your Lord and personal saviour
ignorance, killing Christians right from 1BC

12 Likes

Re: Position Of The Law On The Use Of Hijab/Veil In Public Institutions- O.G Chukkol by AbuHammaad: 10:24am On Dec 15, 2017
PaChukwudi44:
take this rubbish to your Islamic section.If you must comment further then acknowledge Jesus as your Lord and personal saviour

You're free to create your own forum if you don't like it. The owner of nairaland is not complaining so shutup

13 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Position Of The Law On The Use Of Hijab/Veil In Public Institutions- O.G Chukkol by Ussy4real(m): 10:25am On Dec 15, 2017
Bless you bro.. So sad we find ourselves in a society that is filled with hate

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Re: Position Of The Law On The Use Of Hijab/Veil In Public Institutions- O.G Chukkol by princeade86(m): 10:26am On Dec 15, 2017
very true, buh muslim are taking it to wrong way. And i believe is nt all of them. Av nt see any of their top in d north,teach their daughter to wear hijab by force to everywhere. U can imagine that even at NYSC,dey want to wear it by force. If we allow dis, why nt allow other religions like OSUN, SANGO, EGUN, OBATALA AND IGUNNU worshippers to wear their costume to institutions. Or are they not religions?

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Re: Position Of The Law On The Use Of Hijab/Veil In Public Institutions- O.G Chukkol by Danladi7: 10:26am On Dec 15, 2017
Oksman:
Christian indeed !
Be proud to identify with your religion.
There is nothing wrong in presenting facts to buttress your views on a forum like this; instead of being sentimental, by telling us how you will remain and die a Christian.


Are you tell me no Christian can be this sincere and objective?

6 Likes

Re: Position Of The Law On The Use Of Hijab/Veil In Public Institutions- O.G Chukkol by maykam(m): 10:27am On Dec 15, 2017
May God bless you!
Re: Position Of The Law On The Use Of Hijab/Veil In Public Institutions- O.G Chukkol by Lordspenzo(m): 10:29am On Dec 15, 2017
I'm not a muslim and I believe that Jesus died for the redemption of my soul and I believe that Jesus is my lord and personal saviour...religion of intolerance, that oat don't mean poo

7 Likes 1 Share

Re: Position Of The Law On The Use Of Hijab/Veil In Public Institutions- O.G Chukkol by Caseless: 10:31am On Dec 15, 2017
I still believe there are many sane Christians out there and I love them.

2 Likes

Re: Position Of The Law On The Use Of Hijab/Veil In Public Institutions- O.G Chukkol by Zaikon(m): 10:32am On Dec 15, 2017
See them up there not sure ready for truth.
Re: Position Of The Law On The Use Of Hijab/Veil In Public Institutions- O.G Chukkol by Mynd44: 10:32am On Dec 15, 2017
Please it important to put this into context.

This is not a fight against Islam but following the principles of the Legal profession.

I don't like the uniforms lawyers wear cos it is just ridiculous and the wigs are funny but, it is a uniform that stay and lets not joke about it.

This lady knew she wont be called to bar. Female law students do not wear hijab to class, they wear scarfs. It is principle.

If she wants to obey her religion, she is free to but there should be a separation of trying to make a name to be fighting the system when the fight is needless.

She could have conformed with the dress code while also keeping her belief (check attacked pictures) she simply wanted to make a name.

Female Muslim judges conform to this dress code. The former Chairman of he NJC is a Muslim Woman and this was not an issue.

Please why couldnt the young lady wear a wig like the ones I attached?

15 Likes

Re: Position Of The Law On The Use Of Hijab/Veil In Public Institutions- O.G Chukkol by Caseless: 10:33am On Dec 15, 2017
princeade86:
very true, buh muslim are taking it to wrong way. And i believe is nt all of them. Av nt see any of their top in d north,teach their daughter to wear hijab by force to everywhere. U can imagine that even at NYSC,dey want to wear it by force. If we allow dis, why nt allow other religions like OSUN, SANGO, EGUN, OBATALA AND IGUNNU worshippers to wear their costume to institutions. Or are they not religions?
how do you guys reason? Because some few rich kids don't wear in the north, it's illegal, right? Who says it's until they wear that other can wear?

7 Likes 1 Share

Re: Position Of The Law On The Use Of Hijab/Veil In Public Institutions- O.G Chukkol by Caseless: 10:38am On Dec 15, 2017
Mynd44:
Please it important to put this into context.

This is not a fight against Islam but following the principles of the Legal profession.

I don't like the uniforms lawyers wear cos it is just ridiculous and the wigs are funny but, it is a uniform that stay and lets not joke about it.

This lady knew she wont be called to bar. Female law students do not wear hijab to class, they wear scarfs. It is principle.

If she wants to obey her religion, she is free to but there should be a separation of trying to make a name to be fighting the system when the fight is needless.

She could have conformed with the dress code while also keeping her belief (check attacked pictures) she simply wanted to make a name.

Female Muslim judges conform to this dress code. The former Chairman of he NJC is a Muslim Woman and this was not an issue.

Please why couldnt the young lady wear a wig like the ones I attached?
you're being hypocritical.


You should've gone on to tell us the part of constitution that says she can't dress like she did, just like the writer provided constitutional provisions that grants her that right.


Is their rule on dressing superior to the constitution?

8 Likes 1 Share

Re: Position Of The Law On The Use Of Hijab/Veil In Public Institutions- O.G Chukkol by NabeelAbu: 10:50am On Dec 15, 2017
beautiful write up.Let there be peace. Allow the users of Hijaab to enjoy their freedom of religion Enough is enough for the discrimination.
Re: Position Of The Law On The Use Of Hijab/Veil In Public Institutions- O.G Chukkol by Egein(m): 10:51am On Dec 15, 2017
As a Christian, I'm not offended by the Hijab at all. Au contraire, I find it extremely fashionable. I really do not understand what the fuss is regarding the Hijab.

2 Likes

Re: Position Of The Law On The Use Of Hijab/Veil In Public Institutions- O.G Chukkol by Mynd44: 10:55am On Dec 15, 2017
Caseless:
you're being hypocritical.


You should've gone on to tell us the part of constitution that says she can't dress like she did, just like the writer provided constitutional provisions that grants her that right.


Is their rule on dressing superior to the constitution?
Uniforms are there for a reason. Take that away and we will descend into chaos.

Celestial Church of Christ members are not allowed to wear black at all. Imagine what will happen if we say "lets allow the hijabi" based on her religion. Do we do the same for the Cele members?

We can make a case for the total removal of the uniform as it creates an environment where you cannot practice your freedom of religion and expression but to make a case where we will allow the uniform and allow hijabis is not going to end well.

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Re: Position Of The Law On The Use Of Hijab/Veil In Public Institutions- O.G Chukkol by Nobody: 11:05am On Dec 15, 2017
Muslims like to play the victim card, but you hardly find churches /freedom to worship your God in their countries .

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Re: Position Of The Law On The Use Of Hijab/Veil In Public Institutions- O.G Chukkol by personal59(m): 11:05am On Dec 15, 2017
this life




Tohib Adejumo wrote:


Reflections on the Nigerian Christian
Years ago, I was a junior secondary school pupil of Government College, Ibadan. Early morning on assembly ground, I would watch
as Miss Jimoh or Mrs. Oyerinde, stand eyes closed in prayer, cane in hand, while concluding each prayer sentence with “in the name
of Jesus!” Young as I was during those years, there was something unsettling about their prayers.
You see, GCI had a rule, or so I had learned from old boys, that the school was secular in the sense that on assembly grounds
prayers favoring Christianity or Islam may not be made, but God can be used because of its neutrality to both religions. But these
teachers, wittingly or not, broke the rule, and it was okay. Many years later this praying style lends me a view to the Nigerian
Christian mind.
Lately, I have been thinking of my Nigerian Christian friends and their privilege (which most are unaware of its existence) in the
academic institutions and workplace. Many of our Nigerian Christian friends never had issues stemming from their conscience
conflicting with the system, so when a fellow Nigerian compatriot who is a Muslim say he or she has a conflict with the system,
they’re fast to think that the person is just being unnecessarily stubborn and being a cry-baby. Those Muslims are extremist
anyways.
But what the Nigerian Christian friend forget is the fact that even though both Muslims and Christians are full citizens of the country,
the system of the country had been designed primarily with the needs and accommodation of one person in mind – the Nigerian
Christian. Not the Muslim.
The British Imperialists who colonized us were Christians so every aspect of life touched by them was designed to naturally favor
their way of living which has Christianity at its center. This is not to say that there was a cynical attempt to make the systems
exclusively favor one religion over the other, because such an assertion would be ludicrous. They were just doing what came naturally
to them, and had Muslims colonized Nigeria, the same would have been true as well. So returning to the point, Sundays were no
school days, Christmas and New Year celebrations fell wholly in holiday seasons, and there was nothing prohibiting the use of crucifix
in schools.
You will remember that most of the public schools were once missionary schools. In Ibadan, we have Saint Annes Girls School, Saint
Teresa, Baptist High School, Methodist High School, and many more. This again buttresses the point that everything is in favor of the
Nigerian Christian student. He never has to worry about his Sunday church service conflicting with WAEC schedule as we have seen
in recent years for Muslim students, when the examination commission in a cavalier way set an exam time to conflict with the time
for Jumua service.
Nigeria has been independent for a while now (some 57 years) and I do think the recent public debates on the violations of Nigerian
citizens’ constitutional rights to freedom of religious expression should call the Nigerian Christian student to a somber reflection of
his or her own privilege. The Nigerian Christian should understand that she is called freely to the bar without any buts or ifs because
of the privilege that comes with being Christian in Nigeria. She should therefore rise and hold the hand of the Nigerian Muslim woman
and demand that she too must be called to the bar with no ifs and buts.
She should understand that putting a scarf on one’s head as required by one’s faith should have no bearings on once admission to
nursing school at all. He should know that, just like shaving the beard clean is of no consequence to one’s office job, keeping it
should equally be inconsequential.
In short, the Nigerian Christian must look into the privilege his religion affords him in this country of ours, and make sure that other
Nigerians be afforded similar rights and privileges. No one should have to choose between identifying as a Christian, and being a
journalist. I think you and I will agree on this.

8 Likes 1 Share

Re: Position Of The Law On The Use Of Hijab/Veil In Public Institutions- O.G Chukkol by ukeleh: 11:19am On Dec 15, 2017
Poster may the Almighty bless you for being truthful not like many others that are sentimental in religious issues
Re: Position Of The Law On The Use Of Hijab/Veil In Public Institutions- O.G Chukkol by anibirelawal(m): 11:24am On Dec 15, 2017
Mynd44:

Uniforms are there for a reason. Take that away and we will descend into chaos.

Celestial Church of Christ members are not allowed to wear black at all. Imagine what will happen if we say "lets allow the hijabi" based on her religion. Do we do the same for the Cele members?

We can make a case for the total removal of the uniform as it creates an environment where you cannot practice your freedom of religion and expression but to make a case where we will allow the uniform and allow hijabis is not going to end well.
Why the hate na ? pls let us be.

1 Like

Re: Position Of The Law On The Use Of Hijab/Veil In Public Institutions- O.G Chukkol by Mynd44: 11:46am On Dec 15, 2017
anibirelawal:

Why the hate na ? pls let us be.
Please this is not about hate but about one person and her fight against he Law school
Re: Position Of The Law On The Use Of Hijab/Veil In Public Institutions- O.G Chukkol by oyiboeru(m): 11:47am On Dec 15, 2017
WHY IS IT THAT WHENEVER THE MUSLIMS ARE FIGHTING FOR THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS THAT IS BEING INFRINGE UPON BY ANY INSTITUTION, SOME PEOPLE WILL JUST LIKE TO OPPOSE/CRITICIZE IT, WHEN THEY DON'T EVEN HAVE THE LOCUS STANDI IN THE STRUGGLE. SMH

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