The wife of the Vice President, Hajia Amina Sambo, the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Area Unit and other Islamic organisation in the country will join millions of Muslims around the world to celebrate the 2014 World Hijab Day (WHiD).
The World Hijab Day is a day set aside for women from both Muslim and non-Muslim community to put on hijab in support of freedom of choice of dressing and discourage discrimination against people wearing hijab.
Celebrated every February 1, the day was initiated by a Bangladeshi-American woman Nazma Khan in 2013, it serves to give women (non-Muslim, and non-hijab wearing Muslims) and critics of the hijab the opportunity to experience the hijab so as to appreciate what the head-covering is all about.
It is being marked in more than 50 countries across the world.
A release signed by the MSSN Amirah (Female President), Hajia Hafsah Badru said the organization will mark this year’s event in a remarkable way.
She said: “We are joining all other organisations in the world to mark this year’s World Hijab Day. Hijab is modesty, hijab is an honour, hijab is a shield against evil which has permeated all the facets of our lives especially among the women folk.
“We urge all women both Muslims and non-muslims, young and old to come out en masse and celebrate this event together”.
“The day is an open invitation to both Muslims and non-Muslims to wear the hijab for a day. While wife of the Vice President, Hajia Amina Sambo will address a gathering in Abuja to mark the day, adding that “here in Lagos, we (MSSN) will hold a walk starting from Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH), Akoka, Lagos.
Social advocacy project
Also, in a release signed by Mrs Ganiyat Adenle, Director, Good Governance of Al-Mu’minaat Social Advocacy Project (SAP), she said the essence of the day is to “foster tolerance and understanding, and counteract the various issues of abuses, backwardness, oppression and divisiveness that have erroneously been attached to the Muslim head cover.”
“The use of the hijab, Mrs Adenle said, by various women, will show that it is a dress style that women have consciously adopted, as a sign of modesty and obedience to the injunction of God.
“We cannot ignore the realities of the hijab-wearing Muslim woman in present day Nigeria. Primary and Secondary school pupils are denied the right to wear hijabs to school in some part of the country while those in the corporate world have a hard time maintaining their identities.
Muslim female youth corp members are constantly forced to remove their headcovers while Muslim women applicants for documents like drivers’ license, international passport, and voters’ cards are asked to reveal their ears and other parts of their face despite the fact that there is no established law agaisnt hijab.
We believe that the silence of those in authority has empowered those government officials to continue to abuse the rights of Muslim women, subjugate and oppress them and exclude them in a multi-cultural country like Nigeria which prides itself with religious diversity.”