The “call to bar hijab saga” which happened a little over a month ago, and made every one; Christians and Muslims alike, a judge or in the least, a juror in a grand jury made up on the internet is surprisingly still alive.I still come across hashtags #Justiceforfirdaous, #IstandwithFirdaus, et cetera, all over social media, some also still have her as their social media profile pictures and press releases are being churned out regularly. Most recent one from Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), informing of the commencement of inquiry into the matter by the inquiry committee set up by the House of Reps.I must confess, it is the first of its kind. There have been several such cases of bias, intolerance, unnecessary show of hatred, assault and battery even, among others, been posted on the internet since time past, very recent ones including what “hijabites” face in NYSC camps across the country, especially in the Eastern states.
They never truly were fought to the pits by Nigerian Muslims, after a few days’ rant, one or two press releases from MURIC and other such Islamic bodies, the tide would die down and nothing would be said or heard of such again.Aisha O. FolamiOne most dear to my heart, which unfortunately Nigerian Muslims didn’t put enough effort to fight through and thoroughly, was the case of the “hijabite” broadcaster, Aisha Oloruntoyin Folami, who works in the Lagos Television (LTV) as a news anchor. I’d always enjoy seeing her beautiful and bright face while casting the news, until she was suddenly yanked from the position of a newscaster, only to be relegated within the newsroom. The full story was never brought to light, as people who knew exactly “what” could never really talk, as that could cost them their jobs. They’re civil servants and the interest of the government is paramount.I watched the news on NTA while growing up, and I’d always see a beautiful lady Fatimah Hassan in her scarf. It wasn’t a big deal to me then, in my little mind, being a Muslim, Christian or whatever faith you profess shouldn’t be, until I became this grown and got exposed to the bias and irregularities that has eaten deep into this nation in all its industries; private and public alike. It is no news that Muslims are being victimized, it is a statement of fact.
I wish Nigerian Muslims; concerned groups, Social Media Influencers, recognized Islamic bodies, etc. had actually done something beyond the usual “max” of two-three weeks rants and a protest. I wish we had stood our grounds and interfered in every available way. It is, after all, a government broadcasting station. It was indeed a huge blow on our faces, for we lost that even before the battle started. What is the use of wishes or perhaps, what do I know of the in-depth of matters such as this anyway? What I know is that we should never have let that matter die that way. She was like a representative of Islam in that regard, I know how glad I feel each time I watch Nymah Akashat Zibiri, on TVC’s “Your View”.I’ve witnessed Nigerian Muslims try countless time to vindicate Islam each time its haters set to work. That Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance shouldn’t be something too difficult to believe by any sane mind, as long as the Muslims complement that statement with righteous and peaceful characters at all times.Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah upon him, was said to have won several hearts to embrace Islam simply by his righteous deeds, even before preaching the words of God to them. Now that is what Muslims should keep striving to achieve, even while demanding for our rights, and that in itself would liberate us all.I’m glad Firdaus’ case is still very much alive (I still get dragged into it almost on a daily basis as a matter of fact) whatever reason that could be, it is to be a glitter of hope, my wishes weren’t any good then but my hope could serve better. It is also a reassurance that we get better at what we do, driving our agitation and rights home to where it matters, standing our grounds regardless and fighting for a right that is a clear injunction from our Lord.Her case has further opened a can of worms that has always been slightly opened to an average practising Muslim lady in Nigeria, now is the time to dispose the worms and thrash the can.What surprises me greatly is how some, Christians especially, put it upon themselves to berate her.
To everyone; Muslims and Christians alike, who took it as a duty to insult, berate, judge or curse her, I’m sure you all are well rested by now, but it was never your fight, to begin with. Despite that I initially had my reservations about the whole issue, I couldn’t help but salute her courage, she truly is a heroine and a great model in that respect.Thank you, Firdaus Amasa Abdusalam, for fighting the battle for your predecessors and successors like us.May Allah bless our struggles and grant the Muslim ummah success against oppressors all over the world.Note, however, when I say Nigerian Muslims I mean the conscious ones – not the ones who tell you worship is limited to what’s solely in their hearts, while they do not exactly understand the language their hearts speak.
Written by: Mar’yam Thaoban ( NobleHeart)