The Muslim Congress (TMC), a faith-based religious organisation, has alerted the Lagos State Government of a looming religious crisis in the state over an overzealous secondary school principal, who allegedly suspended five female students for daring to wear hijab (head covering).
The alert is contained in a letter addressed to Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode by the National President TMC, Dr Luqman AbdurRaheem, in Lagos.
In the letter, AbdurRaheem requested the governor to urgently avert a “looming religious crisis over hijab due to an illegal action of a Lagos State Overzealous School Principal”
The letter, a copy of which was made available to The Renaissance is reproduced, unedited, hereunder:
*REQUEST TO URGENTLY AVERT A LOOMING RELIGIOUS CRISIS OVER HIJAB DUE TO AN ILLEGAL ACTION OF A LAGOS STATE OVERZEALOUS SCHOOL PRINCIPAL*
The Muslim Congress is an Islamic organisation with her headquarters domiciled in Lagos, large followership based in Lagos, and known for her strong commitment to activities aimed at promoting peaceful coexistence among the multi-religious citizens in the State and nationwide.
As part of our civic responsibilities and commitment to peace, we hasten to bring to your urgent attention the recent and ongoing development in Isolo Senior Secondary School, where the new principal has unjustly suspended five female students of the school over the wearing of Hijab.
The purpose of this letter is for Your Excellency to take urgent necessary steps to avert avoidable crisis in the State, which is enjoying relative peace.
The principal’s action as described above is in breach of the subsisting judgment delivered at the Court of Appeal in the case between Asiyat Abdulkareem and LASG
Again, the illegal action of the principal, a Lagos state staff, is an injustice to and a violation of the fundamental human rights of the affected students, a violation of their religious rights, an assault on Lagos Muslim community, all capable of causing chaos and unrest of monumental proportion in the cities of Lagos due to predictable solidarity actions by individuals, communities or groups that may be sympathizing with the poor students.
The case is already presenting Lagos State government under the administration of Your Excellency as one that is opposed to the rule of law, when viewed in the light of the subsisting Appeal Court ruling which presently favours the students, whereas there is no ruling yet to the contrary from the Supreme Court.
Furthermore, given the timing of her action, the principal appears to be a sponsored agent – provocateur bent on causing disaffection and friction between Your Excellency’s administration and otherwise tolerant and peace-loving Lagos Muslim community with the aim of rubbishing our hitherto cordial relationship.
The outcome of such escalations and negative publicity being generated may further aggravate the already politically charged and overheated situation in Lagos.
In view of the above, we earnestly seek the following prayers:
a) that Your Excellency intervenes by ordering an immediate investigation into the case and by calling the erring principal, Mrs JO Sadare to order;
b) that Your Excellency corrects the error by instructing the immediate and unconditional reinstatement of the students;
c) that Your Excellency sets up machinery to prevent future occurrence, by directing that circulars be passed down to all the State-owned educational institutions, which clearly prohibits or criminalises the harassment of hijab-wearing female students by any staff of State-owned educational institutions (primary, secondary and tertiary), pending a contrary ruling by Supreme Court.
We look forward to prompting action by Your Excellency.
Meanwhile, kindly accept the assurances of our highest esteem and regards.
Dr Luqman Abduraheem
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