An Islamic human rights organsiation, Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has described as provocative, the suspension of Miss Ikhlas Olasubomi Badiru, a student of International School, ISI, of the University of Ibadan.
She was said to have been suspended on the account of her wearing hijab.
According to the director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, in a statement he issued on Monday, by suspending the statement, the school had shown that it lacked good crisis management ability.
“This suspension is one too many. It is superfluous, preposterous and provocative. The authorities of International School Ibadan are overdoing it. The suspension smarks of kindergarten intellect. It is as clear as daylight that the school principal has very poor crisis management skill and she manifests desertification of damage control techniques.
“We call on Nigerians to note what is happening in ISI. Muslim children are being stigmatized just for wearing an ordinary head scarf, not for engaging in cultism or for cheating in examinations. This same hijab is allowed in British schools. It is used in Sweden, Finland and all over Europe, America embraced it long ago. Interestingly these are countries where the percentage of Muslim population is infinitesimally low.
“Yet in Nigeria where Muslim population is higher and Muslims cannot be said to be a minority, Muslim children are being tyrannically profiled. Islamophobia is the order of the day. Surprisingly, Muslims have not reacted in anger. They are exhibiting civilized behaviour to deal with the situation,” the statement reads in part.
MURIC said it was watching the unfolding scenario with keen interest, just as it described the action of the school as the peak of hypocrisy.
According to the group, those who claim to be defending the girl child against abuse, those who claim to be promoting girl-child education are the same people locking out the girl-child from educational institutions simply because they are Muslims.
“We affirm clearly, emphatically and categorically that a girl-child is a girl-child no matter her religion. Her creed does not change her sex. Neither does it change her age. The hijab on her head preserves the dignity of her human person and any attempt to force her to remove it constitutes a criminal assault on her honour and an infringement on Section 38 (i) and (ii) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We warn that the criminalisation of hijab has reached its crescendo and the bubble may burst any moment from now. We call on UI authorities to take full charge of the situation before it is too late. UI cannot abdicate its responsibilities and still remain a citadel of learning and a center of excellence. It is the height of religious intolerance. Both UI and ISI are swarming with Christian fanatics and Muslim haters at management level. It is nauseating and that is to say the least,” the group stated.