The Muslim community of Oyo State yesterday urged the Federal Government and the National Assembly and those in positions of authority not to waste more time but intervene in the ongoing controversy surrounding the use of hijab by female Muslim students at the University of Ibadan International School before it escalates.
They made this known while addressing a joint press conference organised by Muslim Parents’ Forum, UI International School in conjunction with Muslim community of Oyo State, held in Ibadan, the state capital.
Secretary-General, Muslim community of Oyo State, Sheik Ismail Busari, while addressing journalists, harped on the need for the Federal Government, National Assembly, the state government and the authority of the University of Ibadan to intervene in the matter “to avoid escalation of the issue”.
Busari, who remarked that wearing of hijab by female Muslim students is a God-given right which is enshrined in the constitution, however warned that “Muslims will not allow anyone to tamper with their right unchallenged”.
He said, “We are calling on government, those in positions of authority to intervene to ensure that this does not escalate. Hijab is a global phenomena, it is a God-given right. It is their right. We have seen case of judges, nurses and even uniform women in other countries putting on hijab.
“We are calling on the Federal Government, government of Oyo state, the national assembly, minister of education to intervene. We want the authority of University of Ibadan to intervene. We want the government, the national assembly to come to the aid of the school before it escalates. They are calling for anarchy, we want those in government to come before our God-given right is tampered upon.
“We are notifying the government that the Muslim community of Oyo State will not want to allow the right of the female Muslim students to be tampered with. Hijab is a right under the constitution. We are calling on government to ensure that the right of our children is not tampered with.
“That they should desist from calling us names, they are calling us terrorists. Tell those victimising us to desist from victimising us. If Muslims can wear hijab in USA, Britain and other countries, we are Nigerians, our children should be allowed to wear hijab”.
On his part, Chairman, Muslim Parents’ Forum of the school, Alhaji Abdulrahman Balogun added that the Muslim parents and their children have over the years been calling for the use of hijab but all efforts to make it work have been turned down by the school management.
Balogun remarked that several letters written to the management of the school on the issue were yet to be responded to.