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Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Why the hijab controversy persists in Nigeria’s public schools

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Hijab use in Nigeria’s public colleges has develop into extremely controversial, in some circumstances resulting in riots, fatalities, the destruction of faculty property and the closure of colleges. Adeyemi Balogun, a PhD holder within the historical past of faith with analysis pursuits in Muslim tradition and Muslim/ Christian relations, units out why the problem is so contentious, and what will be finished to ease tensions.

What’s the hijab?

The hijab has develop into a time period used for every type of veiling amongst Muslim girls. Some take it to imply a shawl or any piece of clothes that covers the girl’s head, face and physique. There are a selection of veils in Muslim societies. The hijab is one. It covers the pinnacle with the face open and extends to both the ankle, stomach or knees. Some Muslims consult with it because the khimar.

One other instance of a veil is the burqa which covers the girl’s face besides her eyes and the world round them. There may be additionally the jilbab, an outer garment which covers the girl’s physique from head to toe, leaving the face and arms from the wrist open.

What does the Quran educate concerning the hijab?

The Quran encourages girls to see the hijab as an emblem of modesty and decency that results in reaching piety. For a lot of Muslims, piety is without doubt one of the best achievements of a Muslim in life. This explains why the hijab has been embraced by many Muslim girls.

Some clerics say that, though God instructs girls to make use of the hijab, He didn’t intend to pressure them to make use of it.

Are there penalties for not carrying a hijab?

There are students who consider not carrying a hijab ought to incur punishment. However there are additionally students who don’t maintain this view. For some Muslim clerics not utilizing the hijab is taken into account to be neglecting a Quranic instruction, which is tantamount to disobeying God. The penalty for this disobedience would then be for God to determine. And, in case you ask some Muslims what that penalty can be, they are going to more than likely say hell!

However for a lot of clerics, it’s not attainable to predetermine what God’s determination can be on any challenge.

That is why the query stays contentious within the Muslim world.

Why is the hijab controversial in Nigeria’s colleges?

There are lots of causes.

First is faith. Those that use the hijab declare that veiling is a non secular obligation. In the meantime, the varsity is seen as a secular sphere the place any type of religiosity should be suppressed.

However, in my opinion, the notion of secularism is inconsistent with the historical past of the varsity system in Nigeria.

Traditionally, colleges have been launched by Christian missionaries as a part of a undertaking to unfold the faith from 1843. This meant that missionaries embedded spiritual practices in colleges. In major and secondary colleges, pupils pray of their assemblies and sing hymns.

When Muslims began establishing their very own colleges from 1896, additionally they launched Islamic practices to studying.

Many colleges in Nigeria proceed to be managed or owned by Christians and Muslims, though authorities took some colleges from them within the Seventies.

As well as, Nigeria has Muslim and Christian associations in addition to mosques and church buildings current aspect by aspect with educational practices in its tertiary establishments.

That’s why I consider that the argument about Nigerian colleges being secular shouldn’t be solely deceptive – it’s baseless.

The second motive is about Muslim-Christian relations. The Christian Affiliation of Nigeria, an umbrella physique for Christians, opposed the carrying of hijab by Muslim ladies. Its place is that carrying the hijab will result in the Muslim religion being unfold by way of colleges. This argument contends that the usage of hijab can encourage some Christian college students to embrace Islam. And that the hijab would redefine the identification of the varsity as a Muslim faculty moderately than a Christian or “secular” faculty.

The best way I see it, these fears are real as a result of they’re nervous about their very own spiritual identification. And issues of identification are essential within the lifetime of any group or society.

This brings us to the third motive why the hijab has remained controversial in Nigeria – the function of presidency and the state. How has the federal government dealt with the problem of hijab in Nigerian colleges, in workplaces and in public areas?

In Lagos state, as an example, the federal government defended the secularity of the colleges and mentioned no to the hijab. However the Supreme Courtroom just lately dominated in favour of the hijab in Lagos colleges. Regardless of this, the state authorities has not directed its colleges’ directors to permit ladies use hijab.

In Osun and Kwara states, hijab advocates are additionally in courtroom.

Based mostly on these circumstances it’s clear that the federal government has failed to seek out the precise answer to the problem.

Is there any hyperlink between studying and gown?

The uniform college students placed on can’t decide their studying means.

Then again, learners put on a uniform to present them an identification that separates them from those that are usually not present process a specific programme of studying. It’s attainable to make use of the uniform to encourage the efficiency and skill of the learners.

What’s the easiest way to deal with the controversy?

Some Nigerians argue that Muslims ought to have separate major and secondary colleges the place they will put on the hijab. The issue with this answer turns into evident if you ask about tertiary establishments, workplaces and public areas. Ought to Nigeria even have separate tertiary establishments and workplaces for Muslims solely as a result of they’ve chosen to put on the hijab?

We’re speaking a couple of multi-religious nation the place it isn’t attainable for members of various spiritual faiths to not encounter each other. In workplaces, markets, communities and households, Muslims, Christians, atheists and African spiritual traditionalists would essentially have to satisfy or have one thing that brings them collectively.

We can’t afford to create an “apartheid” system to attain peace.

What I’m due to this fact suggesting is, first, a dialogue by way of seminars, workshops and conferences between Muslims and non-Muslims. The federal government and college authorities also needs to be concerned. With dialogue, every spiritual religion ought to perceive one another’s spiritual practices.

Additionally, Muslims ought to recognise the fears of non-Muslims concerning the hijab in public colleges and undertake methods to allay their fears.

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