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The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has condemned actions of the management of University of Ibadan International School allegedly denying Muslim pupils their rights to wear hijab within the school premises.

Hijab is a veil that covers the head and chest worn by some Muslim women while in the presence any male outside of their immediate family.

The NSCIA’s position was contained in a communiqué issued to newsmen by Mr Aselemi Ibrahim, the head of Media and Communications, at the end of the council’s 7th Expanded General Purpose Committee Meeting on Tuesday in Abuja.

The council, chaired by the President-General of NSCIA and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, also accused the management of the university of stifling the voices of Muslims and ostracising them during key decision-making processes on the campus.

It also accused the authorities of International School, University of Ibadan, of silencing the voices of Muslim pupils in the school.

”This position is against the backdrop of the incessant cases of allegation of harassment of Muslim pupils of the university’s International School over the use of hijab.

”Fixing of statutory academic and management meetings of the university for periods dedicated to Muslims’ Friday prayer among other issues” the communique said.

It described as unfortunate the recent development at the University of Ibadan whose founding fathers, the council said, championed the cause of scholarship by establishing the Centre for Arabic Documentation.

The university’s founders, the council also said, introduced the Certificate and Diploma programmes in Islamic Studies and Arabic, created Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies and tapped the resources of Arabic to create and enrich Ibadan School of History.

“We insist that Western education is lawful while the University of Ibadan is insisting on declaring Western education unlawful.

”We urge lawmakers to initiate bills that would streamline and unambiguously legitimise the use of hijab in public institutions in the country,” the council said.

Recall that the Muslim Parents Forum of University of Ibadan International School, led by its Chairman, Mr AbdurRahman Balogun, in July, said it had filed 11 fresh cases in court to challenge infringement on their children’s fundamental rights of wearing hijab.

Balogun said that the forum had also petitioned the National Human Rights Commission, Abuja; Director General of DSS, the Inspector-General of Police, the Ministry of Education and management of University of Ibadan, among others.

The school and some Muslim parents had been at loggerheads over the rights of students to wear hijab to the school.

 

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