Caged, suppressed, oppressed… what other debasing adjective is yet to be used to describe Muslim women, who have chosen to “be covered ” among those who think she should be pitied, because she is forced by either her father or husband.
Or the ones that believe she needs to be liberated, for as far are they are concerned her dressing belongs to the stone age and the latest, is the group that wants to strip her off clothing of modesty in order to keep the world “safe”.
According to independent news reports, Islamophobic attack has risen by about 300 per cent globally since the Paris terrorists attack,with Muslim women as majority of the victim.
In Nigeria, there have been more than 20 reported cases of harassments on Muslim women since the presidential media chat, where President Muhammad Buhari hinted that the presidency might consider banning hijab as an option in finding a lasting solution to boko haram insurgents.
Although a few number of Muslims hold the opinion that we could compromise and replace the “proper” hijab with iro and buba together with “Ibori “, commonly adorned by older women in Yoruba land. Majority of opinions have, however, argued that the hijab cannot be tampered with in anyway or form and that the above attire do not satisfy the conditions as stated in various books of tafseer (exegesis). I belong to the latter.
Allah commanded in Q33 vs 59: “O prophet! Tell the wives and daughter and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons, that is most convenient that they should be known (as such) and not molested, And Allah is out forgiving most merciful”.
The hijab, which serves as protection and distinctive apparel for Muslim women, is neither a product of fashion nor culture, but an injunction from the creator. So that it could serve as protection, liberate women from the era of unclothed and imbibe in us the real civilization.
And banning it is synonymous to taking away God’s given freedom and constitutional right (to believe and religious practice) of Muslims.
For those who have continuously drawn a comparism between “Hudaybiyyah” (treaty of Makkah) and compromising on hijab, let me be quick to remind them that the prophet (PBUH) did not make the decision on his own accord, he only obeyed Allah’s commandment. The same commandment we will be disobeying by abandoning the hijab.
It is also worthy of note, that less than three per cent of the terrorists attacks have been carried out by devilish insurgents dressing in women hijab while majority of the attacks are being carried out by men in military uniform (men who camouflaged in military uniforms), a glaring example was the abduction of the Chibok girls by terrorists in the Military Uniforms.
In fact, why are we not debating the banning of cars, military uniform, fruits and other things the insurgents have been using? But they find it convenient to single out the hijab and advocate for it banishment. This is obviously because of the contempt the society had always held against it. It is, simply put, Islamophobic.
Nigeria is a society full of people that have refused to see the covered woman as being free and capable of making her choices.
The success of stories of the likes of Prof. AbdulKareem Fateeemah (a professor of Anatomical and Molecular Pathology), Dr Salami Ibipo (Runner up at the maiden edition of debaters), Dr Maryam Raji (Who got her MBBS degree before age 21), Dr Fareedah Yusuf (who went home with 12 out of 14 prizes at the last UNILORIN Medical Doctors Induction ceremony, and millions of other Muslim women who adorn the hijab, are still fresh in the minds of sane and keen watcher of events within the Muslim Ummah.
These Muslim women personalities are making positive impacts in the lives Nigerian and all over the world. All these are indications that Muslim women are far from being repressed. And only those who have decided to hold on to a perverted view of the hijab would hate it or want it banned.
I am covered by choice, not oppressed or repressed. I am not a terrorist, I do not support any form of terrorism.
By Shakirah Sanni, (500level Dentistry, LUTH/CMUL)