It is not a fundamental right to wear the wig, but it is to wear the hijab.
With open heart of happiness, I salute our new wigs at the bar. I congratulate you on your hard earned success. May Allah make it a starting point in your road to success. Amin.
Meanwhile, my felicitation is marred with deep disappointment when call to bar is on a collision course with the fundamental human Rights use of hijab. What a dilemma! Despite the unrelenting efforts from concerned Muslims at different quarters as regards this issue, our sisters at law dinner are still facing challenges of removing this Allah given. Carolyn Walker-Diallo, the first Muslim judge in the united States was sworn in with her head covered. Heaven did not fall and America did not turn Saudi Arabia.
The Nigeria Association of Muslim Law Students strongly condemns the act of not allowing Muslim sisters to wear hijab. It is unconstitutional, prejudice and unjust.
The dictum of justice jide falola of the Osun state high court and the rulling in *Asiya Kareem V. Lagos State* Government are relevant precedents in this regard. If our sisters are not allowed to enforce their right protected under both local and international statutes, then there is fire on the mountain.
Suratul Àhzaab, Q 33 verse 59 provides: “O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the women of the believers to draw their cloak (veils) all over their bodies. That will be better, that they should be known (as respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Ever oft forgiving, most merciful.”
Also section 38 of the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria provides “Every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom (either alone or in community with others and in public or in private) to manifest and propagate his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.”
Other sacrosanct provisions include; section 38(1)(a) (b) and section 42(1)(a) & (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Articles 2, 5, 8, 10, 17, and 19 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Right (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Cap. A9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (2004) and Order 11, rules 1(2) and (3) of the Fundamental Human Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules, 2009.
It should be noted that governmental institutions in at different levels in Nigeria have been unrepentant and belligerent about the right to use hijab in recent times. And it is really arrogant and provocative. However, this coming law dinner has just merely poured salt on open wounds.
Where do we go from here? How can we be talking about peace where there is no justice? Where is the principles of democracy, liberty and rule of law? Where are the promises made by the drafters of our sacred constitution? How do we avert this bias when justice has become scarce commodity?
In the words of the leader of Nigerian supreme council of Islamic affairs, sheik Abubakr sa’d Government at all levels should treat Muslim fairly. What is due to Muslims must be given to Muslims and when we are given what we should have, it is not a favour to us; it is our right.
We therefore call on the National Assembly, the judicial service commission, the Nigerian bar association, Nigerian Law School and other concerned agencies at all levels, Muslim organizations, parents alike to declare a state of emergency on this bias and put a stop to the relegation of our Muslim sisters at the call to bar/ law dinner celebration.
NAMLAS appeals to the organizers of law dinner to allow our female sisters wear their hijab. We equally assure them of the good conduct of our sisters. Aggression is not our character. Neither do we support it.
Nigerian Association of Muslim Law Students,