In a victory for Nigerian Muslim students, the country’s apex court has ruled for allowing hijab in Lagos State Government-owned schools.
Dismissing the appeal by the Lagos State Government, the Supreme Court issued its ruling on Thursday in Abuja, The Nigerian Guardian reported.
The court upheld that the 2015 ban violated the Muslim students’ rights to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, the dignity of human persons and freedom from discrimination guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution.
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The decision has been widely welcomed by Muslim students and the Amir (President) of the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Area Unit, Miftahudeen Thanni, and other members of the organization.
Hijab in Islamic Shari’ah is an obligatory item for Muslim women. Moreover, it has increasingly become a symbol of Muslims’ rejection of the British colonial legacies in Nigerian public life.
In 2017, a Muslim female law graduate was barred from a call to bar event in the capital Abuja for wearing hijab that drew anger across the Muslim West African country.
Barrister Firdaus Amasa was later called to the bar with her Hijab on after the country’s council on legal education backed down.
Nigeria is not a Muslim country, constitutionally, but it has what’s considered as the largest Muslim population in the entire region of West Africa.
The CIA Factbook estimates that 50% of Nigerians are Muslims while the BBC estimates this to be slightly over 50%.