False Alarm About Removal Of Hijab In Lagos NYSC Camp: MURIC Appeals For Calm

False Alarm About Removal Of Hijab In Lagos NYSC Camp: MURIC Appeals For Calm


PRESS RELEASE

Muslims in Lagos on Monday 18th May, 2015 received information that
hijab (head scarf) was being removed from the heads of female Muslim
corpers at the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) camp in Iyana
Ipaja, Lagos State.

The office of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) immediately became
inundated with calls while social media went agog. We immediately set
the machinery in motion to find out the veracity of the report. To our
surprise, we discovered that the story was grossly exaggerated as no
female Muslim corper suffered such humiliation.

In view of the volatile nature of the Nigerian society and in view of
the fact that Nigeria has witnessed too many religious riots which led
to the shedding of blood and destruction of properties, we decided to
nip the rumour in the bud before things went too far.

A four-man team led by the director of MURIC (and three other members)
visited the NYSC camp at Iyana Ipaja, Lagos, for proper investigation.
The team was warmly received by the NYSC officials comprising the
Lagos State Coordinator of the NYSC secretariat, the Camp Director and
the Camp Commandant. Two female Muslim corpers at the center of the
hijab imbroglio were also in attendance.

Our findings show that contrary to reports no female Muslim corper was
asked to remove her hijab and none had her hijab removed. They were
all allowed to use their hijab except four of them who wore extra-long
hijab. These four were requested to reduce the length of their hijab
to allow for camp activities. Two of them complied while two refused.
One of the two who refused also behaved rudely to the Camp Commandant
who also happened to be a Muslim from the North.

The two corpers who refused to reduce their hijab were present at the
meeting and we were able to counsel them. It is didactic that both of
them confirmed that NYSC officials did not attempt to remove their
hijab.

MURIC warns the general public against spreading false and malicious
information which are capable of causing public disorder. In
particular, we charge Muslims to investigate reports properly before
judging issues. The peace and tranquility which Lagos State has been
enjoying for years would have been disturbed over this minor issue if
urgent action had not been taken to douse tension. At stake also are
the career of innocent NYSC officials and the lives of corps members
inside the camp.

Allah says in the Glorious Qur’an, “Oh you who believe, if a
tale-bearer brings a report to you, investigate it (before taking any
action) so that you may not harm innocent people inadvertently and
become full of regret over your action.” (Qur’an 49:6)

Finally, we affirm that there was no incident of the seizure of hijab
or placement of ban on it at the Lagos NYSC Camp. The NYSC officials
and the Camp Commandant have been treating the youth corpers in their
care in loco parentis. Muslims in Lagos and elsewhere are therefore
requested to remain calm and law-abiding.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

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