Debates have continued to the trail the Hijab crisis in Ilorin, Kwara State. For the sake of conciseness and precision, we shall not dwell on the ownership of the schools as this has been explained several times.
This press release seeks to provide logical reasons why Muslims students do not have to leave the schools against suggestions by some peace-lovers and bigots who have suggested that the Muslim students can go to other schools where the Hijab would be allowed. Our arguments;
– The Burden of Tolerance:
> Despite the fact that evidences have been provided beyond doubt that not just Christian Missionary schools were taken over in the 1970s by the government, coupled with the fact that the court had ruled and the State had given an order in favour of the approval of Hijab in these schools, there are suggestions that the Muslim students should go to schools that allow the Hijab to prevent violence, display tolerance and show the peace-loving nature of the religion of Islam.
> The burden of tolerance does not lie upon the Muslim Students or community, rather, it lies with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kwara State Chapter. To be clear, if the Muslim community lost the court case, then, the State gives an order that Hijab is not approved in the schools, the Muslims may be asked to embrace peace if they resort to protests or violence.
> This abuse of tolerance has to be stopped. Tolerance is a two-way street and should not necessarily be defined by what length does a party want to compromise on their beliefs and rights. Imagine, the Jehovah witnesses, Deeper Life Members have never been accused of Intolerance for not celebrating the Christmas celebration, it is the Muslims who are asked to be tolerant by partaking in religious festivals alien to their religion, asked to tolerate sleep-disturbing noises from vigils, remove the Hijab to be tolerant, etc.
> Think about it. A man infringes on your rights, you take legal action, the court protects your rights, then, you are asked to tolerate infringement on your rights. What then is the essence of going to the court of law?
> Suggesting that the Muslim community should be tolerant and enroll their Children in other schools that allow Hijab, given the context of this crisis, portrays the Muslim community as transgressors which is not the case.
> For the record, the schools in question were taken over by the government in the 1970s and maintained by Taxpayers’ money. Remember that Ilorin is a Muslim-dominated city, therefore, Muslims contribute largely to the funding of these schools.
> If a Muslim was to enroll his girl-child in a St. Charles Grammar School in the year 2010, which status stood as at that year as a Public School, how can we say he has transgressed if a certain Christian Association comes in 2021 claiming the schools?
> We cannot accuse the Muslims of transgression. Every Muslim who has a child in these schools sent their children to Public Schools not Christian Schools. The Muslim community may be accused of transgression only if the government returns the schools to the owners, then, Muslims still send their children there, demanding for rights.
> That Muslim Students leave the schools for others may set a precedent that will not just enable the persecution of Muslims, it would follow that no court of law will respect a case filed by the Muslim community and there will a total regard for the Judicial system of the State.
> We bring to your remembrance the case of Firdaus Amasa who was not called to bar for refusing to remove her Hijab. Back then, there were also claims of intolerance. Had we backed down in the name of peace and tolerance, we would have enabled the further oppression of Muslim female lawyers. The case was won because it was based on reason and justice, these are the values we stand for.
> If the Muslim community withdraw their children from the schools, it would be followed by anarchy; Communities, Associations and Organizations will reject court judgement and state other and take to violence.
– Appeal to Civilization
> Liberals, Irreligious people and some Pan-Africans have taken advantage of the situation to bash both religions as usual. We believe that this fallacy of false equivalence has to stop. It is this desperation to place Islam and Christianity on the same pedestal that led Fela Kuti to sing in his “Coffin for Head of State”,
“Through Jesus Christ our Lord
(Amen, Amen, Amen!)
By the grace of Almighty Lord
(Amen, Amen, Amen!)
Through Mohammed our Lord
(Amen, Amen, Amen!)
By the grace of Almighty Allah
(Amen, Amen, Amen!)”
Where do Muslims call Muhammad their Lord?
> It should be understood that there is no blame on the Muslim community as far as this crisis is concerned. If any, we can accept the blame for driving us towards the age of reason. These liberals and Irreligious folks argue that a thing like this do not happen in saner climes. While it can be proven that it does, we simply want to remind us that, in the saner climes where it doesn’t happen, they have learnt to embrace and respect their diversity. Hence, accepting the Hijab or the Dastār of the Sikhs in schools and workplaces is not a problem.
When you accuse the Muslims asking for the age of reason that includes everyone regardless of their religion or tribe of backwardness, shall we embrace your civi-lie-zation?
> We implore the Muslims to be calm and not engage in any form of violence. The past few years have seen Muslims taking their battles to the court of law and appealing to reason than violence. This, the KnowIslam Project will continue to promote.
> Kindly note that in our press releases, we have quoted CAN, Kwara State Chapter. We do not hold all Christians responsible for this act of intolerance and resentment against Muslims. The battle is between CAN and the Kwara State Government, therefore, Muslims should refrain from actions and statements that could be used to demean and disrespect the image of Islam.
> If it was a case of an 18-year-old Muslim girl that removes the Hijab, drinks wine, eats pork, posts pictures of herself in bikini on Instagram, Amnesty International and Feminists groups would have been everywhere fighting for her rights. Is a girl in Hijab less feminine?. It is Allah we worship and Him, we seek for help.
> We received information from the Osun Open-Space Discourse that those who want to take the pro and con side of the approval of Hijab should meet at the Freedom Park, Osogbo for a healthy and intellectual dialogue. Write them: [email protected]
Bashir Lucas Samson Lukman
The KnowIslam Project
…Telling the Muslim story
We request Muslims to give this the widest publicity it deserves.