Hijab Saga: MURIC aligns with Lagos Commissioner 


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has waded into the controversy surrounding comments on the hijab issue made by the Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr. Abdulateef Abdulhakeem on a Television Continental (TVC) programme, ‘YourView’ last month.

According to a statement signed by the Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, MURIC, claimed the commissioner’s comments have been severally misreported and misunderstood. The Islamic group argued that the commissioner merely stated the obvious.

“What was reported was not exactly what he said. What he said reflected the official position of the state government. It was not his personal opinion. His response may have been different if asked about his personal opinion. But that would have breached protocol. Once you are in government you owe total allegiance to that government. That does not diminish from your faith as a Muslim.

“Islamic organisations must always give informed reactions. We must understand the intricacies of governance. It is complex. It is technical. It is like the judge in a court of law. He does not make pronouncements based on personal feelings because he must allow the law to take its due course. Most times the hearts of judges weep inside as they boldly make judicial pronouncements.

“Press interviews are equally technical and tricky. Sometimes they are booby traps, particularly for government functionaries and journalists often use such occasions to make or mar, to build or destroy the person being interviewed. More often than not, the target question is smuggled into the conversation to catch the guest off guard. The issues discussed at the “Your View” interview on that occasion were many. It was not hijab matter alone and it was slipped in as an uppercut. Fortunately the commissioner handled it very well”.

Akintola insisted that he saw nothing wrong with the commissioner’s response.

“We repose full confidence in Dr. Abdullateef Abdulhakeem. He has not in any way shied away from his responsibility as an Islamic scholar. Anyone with the same versatility like he brandishes must have certain limitations particularly when he wears two caps. This is what we want Muslims to understand.”

MURIC also threw a jab at the Lagos State Government on the hijab issue.

“LASG should have allowed the use of hijab in schools when the Supreme Court rejected its application for stay of execution. Its continued refusal to allow the use of hijab is capable of being interpreted as deliberate perpetuation of anti-Muslim policies.”

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