If not in Nigeria, Muslims wearing the hijab in schools or other places should never be up for debate. It is a fundamental right that does not harm nor detract from the right of non-hijab wearers. Even in western Christian countries, the Hijab is universally accommodated because it is merely a way of Muslim dressing that’s harmless and non-invasive.
But Nigerian Christianity (yes Nigerian Christianity) is built on blind opposition to anything Muslim or Islamic, no matter how harmless. From Islamic banking to the Ajami script, Sharia penal court and now the Hijab. I refused to believe this is the true Christian teaching or behavior because I have seen Christians and Christian communities (both within but mostly outside Nigeria) with higher sense of justice, respect and understanding.
If it were Jews choosing to wear their skullcaps or the Jehovah Witness wearing their headscarves, there would hardly be any opposition. But because it is Muslim and Islam is mentioned, it stands condemned, opposed and rejected. Simply put, Muslims, unlike other faiths, are not entitled to their cultural and social rights and choices.
That’s why you see every attempt to compete or counter Muslims on matters of their individual rights. Because Muslims pray 5 times a day, Nigerian Christians today match that by holding daily morning and evening worships at government ministries and agencies, but you hardly see that in the private sector where such polarizations are hardly tolerated.
When some years ago, Christians retaliated against the Muslim hijab-wearing policy in Osun schools by dressing their kids in religious and cultural attires, I said that the move will fizzle out because it is intentions are not genuine. The rest is now history. Muslims don’t wear the hijab to spite any other faith, or to counter what other people wear. It is part and parcel of the Muslim culture, of their everyday life and nothing can separate that.
Religion is not a competition, and certainly not a bigotry contest. It is a way of seeking God, doing justice and endeavoring to help your fellow human. Anything other than that is pure madness, couched in divine delusion and sectarian absurdity. Those opposing the Hijab need to decide what they do because it is definitely not religion. Ahmad Musa.
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