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Minister Calls For Dialogue Says Nigeria’s Constitution Allows Muslim Women To Wear Hijab

Education Minister Adamu Adamu yesterday called for dialogue on matters of religious differences rather than resorting to violence.

Adamu spoke while delivering his keynote address at the 2022 World Hijab Day public lecture, titled: The Hijab as a Metaphor of our National Aspirations in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the public lecture was organised by the Coalition of Muslim Women of Nigeria.

Adama, who was represented by the Deputy Director of Social Mobilisation at the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Mrs. Sidikat Shomope, said Nigeria’s constitution guarantees freedom of religion for all citizens.

“This, by implication, means that all citizens are allowed to practise their religions according to the dictates of their faith, as long as no harm or inconvenience is caused to other people.

“The wearing of hijab by Muslim women is in line with the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), as recommended in Qur’an 33:59.

“However, there has been much controversy on this matter in our country, which has unfortunately gone down to the school level and generated needless violent clashes.

“I wish to take this opportunity to remind our fellow citizens that there is a lot we can gain by dialoguing on matters of religious differences, rather than resorting to violence.

“Our children will remain citizens of Nigeria, irrespective of their faith. They will live and interact in the world outside their schools, where no boundary exists between the religions,” Adamu said.

The minister appealed to traditional, religious and community leaders to use their offices to douse tension and ensure peace, harmony and tolerance.

“I call on parents and our school teachers to ensure that in both words and actions, they present the best model to our children to emulate,” he said.

A House of Representatives member Mrs. Aishatu Dukku said the National Assembly would ensure the passage of Religious Discrimination Prohibition Prevention Bill, 2021.

The guest lecturer and Director of Muslims Rights Concern (MURIC), Prof. Ishaq Akintola, described the hijab as a vehicle of unification at the national and international levels.

The Islamic scholar explained that it helps Muslim women to identify themselves.

Akintola also said hijab is a symbol of social justice, freedom and equal rights and that it “commands confidence and radiates a feeling of safety”.

He added: “Hijab is a key to morality. A hijab-wearing woman is 24 hours conscious of her responsibility. That a woman puts on her hijab is a sign of a responsible woman ready to build the nation.

“When you discriminate against a single woman, you are discriminating against the entire nation.”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Prof. Sa’adatu Liman, urged Muslim women to exhibit good conduct while wearing hijab.

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