CAN has not learned from history. We’ll see who blinks first – MURIC responds to Kwara school hijab crisis

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The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has stated that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has not learnt from experience and that it will see who blinks first in the Kwara school crisis caused by a court decision allowing Muslim female students to wear hijab to school.

 

Any schools in the state founded by churches have opposed the court decision, arguing that Hijabs would never be tolerated in their institutions.

 

On March 17, a clash between Christian and Muslim parents over the Hijab controversy erupted at the Baptist Secondary School, Surulere in Ilorin, the state capital, injuring three people as both sides hurled stones at each other.

 

 

In a statement issued by Ishaq Akintola, head of the Nigerian Islamic human rights organisation, CAN was accused of instigating a crisis. He was perplexed as to why Christian officials had failed to cooperate with the court’s decision. He urged the state government to keep the leadership of the state’s Christian body accountable if the situation worsened.

 

 

His statement in part reads;

 

“We are perturbed that people who claim to be civilised are disrespecting the rule of law. CAN is to blame for all these. CAN was the one that called on its members to occupy that school. Fortunately, the ugly scene only played out in one out of ten schools. But it is a big shame that in the 21st century, Kwara CAN is turning its members against democratic norms, against the rule of law.

Both the Ilorin High Court and the Court of Appeal have ruled in favour of hijab. It is, therefore, illegal, illegitimate, unlawful and unconstitutional for CAN to insist that its members should not obey the courts and that the schools should not allow female Muslim students to use the hijab or even enter the school premises. It is the height of lawlessness.

We assert that CAN should be held responsible for whatever happens in those schools. We wonder why the Nigerian civil society is silent over this open rape on the rule of law. Is it because Muslims are at the receiving end? Is it because Christian leadership is the culprit? We reject selective justice. Those who are most vehement when democracy is in jeopardy must also speak up when any principle of democracy is under threat. Refusal to obey a court order is a flagrant confrontation of democracy and a threat to good governance, law and order and peaceful coexistence. Or is CAN above the law?

It is unfortunate that CAN has failed to learn from history. Christian students’ latest order to wear strange garments like church choir and masquerade dresses to school will fail woefully, just as it did in Osun State. For how long can Christian students wear choir dresses to school. We will see who blinks first.

We invite all right-thinking Nigerians to take a critical look at the game playing out in Kwara State. It is a well-known fact in modern society that any group that flouts court pronouncement is inviting chaos. This is precisely what CAN is doing in Kwara State. We, therefore, call on stakeholders to call CAN to order.

MURIC warns the Kwara State Government (KWSG) against compromising its authority over this issue. Any attempt by KWSG to spoon-feed CAN or sweep the Muslim girl-child’s right to wear hijab under the carpet will be resisted by the Muslim community. The law is on our side. On hijab, we stand” his statement reads


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