Hijab Ban: An Open Letter to Muslim faithfuls by Shuaib Olusesi

Some unidentified soldiers on Friday forcefully removedthe veil, popularly referred to as Niqab, from a Muslim woman at Meran Area of Lagos. It was gathered the woman was going peacefully when two soldiers stopped and began to allegedly harass her. According to an eyewitness, identified as Adetutu, it took the intervention of passersby and sympathisers for the Muslim woman to get her veil back.

The eyewitness, who described the the removal of the Hijab as an embarrassing sight and injustice, urged the

Federal Government to make an official pronouncement stating that the hijab has not been banned to avert further chaos. While narrating how the Hijab was removed, Adetutu said, “I arrived at the Meiran Bus Station to board a bus when I saw three armed military men stop a Muslim woman who was putting on ta black attire and a face veil. One of them confronted her asking why she used the face veil. “The woman was surprised and helpless. Almost immediately he (one of the soldiers) turned up her face veil to reveal her face. “The woman who felt ashamed only looked and could do nothing because the soldiers were heavily armed. “After one of the soldiers revealed her face, another soldier forcefully removed the veil from her saying ‘This thing is not allowed in our country. You can use it in your house but not here’. “He (the soldier) took the veil and was about leaving with it. All the woman could do was to plead with him to at least release the veil to her. “After harassing her in such a way that called attention of passersby, he (the soldier) returned the veil to her and she quietly left almost shedding tears.” It will be recalled that this is happening few weeks to the comment that Federal Government may ban Hijab by President Muhammadu Buhari. President Buhari while commenting on the continued blasts in the North-East during his maiden media chat last Wednesday said, “We will have to consider banning of the Hijab if this (the suicide attacks) continues.” But on Friday (January 1), the President through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a press release denied insinuations that his administration had plans to ban Hijab. While describing Hijab as the Muslim women’s dressing symbol of modesty, Buhari’s spokesperson added, “Everything will be done to balance national security requirements with the rights and obligations of citizens under their religions as protected by the constitution.”

As a result of these sort of incidents which have become norm in certain parts of the world,  this is my admonition to all Muslim faithfuls.

When we find ourselves in a world where evil prevails over good, where immorality is the new cool, a world where nudity is at its peak, and modesty is sidelined as an abominable act. A world where upholding the basic tenets of your faith is termed barbaric, a world where being a muslim is a sin, a world where our men and women are treated unjustly, a world where our men are labelled terrorists, a world where our women are called all sort of names ranging from ninjas and the likes. A world where our women are molested publicly. A world that claims that there is freedom of religion yet our rights are being trampled upon by bigots and yet the government folds it hands in inaction. In this kind of world my Muslim brothers and sisters, don't just look on and sit down in inaction and allow for your faith to be extincted. Do something,.. Say no to Islamophobia, say no to the ban on hijab, say no terrorism ‪#stoptheharrassment


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