A non-governmental Islamic group, Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has described the ban on the use of hijab by muslim students at the University of Ibadan International School, UIIS, as an invitation to chaos.
It also described it as a threat to girl-child education.
The group made the remark on Tuesday in a statement issued by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
The group berated the principal of the school, Mrs. Phebean Olowe, saying her action showed that she was not in tune with reality.
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MURIC said she was draconian in her ways and retarding the progress of UIIS.
Said MURIC: “We are surprised that at a time when the whole world is struggling to boost girl-child education and reduce the number of out-of-school children, a female school administrator of her status is issuing anti-girl-child education directives. It is such a shame. Britain and America are encouraging the wearing of hijab in their schools but here we find a school administrator constituting herself into a cog in the wheel of progress particularly in the area of girl-child education. Can this be attributed to lack of exposure? This principal is in dire need of a sabbatical leave outside Nigeria.
“She should have known that UIIS is an elitist academic environment where all the parents (Christians or Muslims) know their rights. Many of the Muslim parents are staff of the university. Why must she chew more than she can swallow? Why must she bring an alien, parochial and archaic agenda to an academic setting? This is obviously a failure in administration.
“A good administrator will consult parents before taking such a sensitive decision and there are a lot of opportunities for her to do that. Religion is a sensitive matter. She must have a hidden agenda otherwise she would not have made such an attempt in view of the proliferation of hijab stories in the news. No school administrator worth the salt will issue an anti-hijab instruction in view of recent events around the country unless such a principal is from Mars or Mercury.”
The Islamic group commended the parents who participated in a peaceful protest at the school gate over the ban on hijab.
MURIC said, “Peaceful protest is an extention of dialogue where there are grievances to address. It is an Allah-given fundamental right of all citizens. Nobody has the right to take it from us.
“We hail the Muslim parents of UIIS for standing up in loco parentis. These parents have refused to abdicate their responsibilities. They have a duty to educate their children and to monitor their progress as prescribed in Qur’an 2:233. They have successfully done that. They also have a duty to protect their children from abuse, stigma and religious discrimination. They have proved that they are capable of doing that. We are proud of them.”
UIIS was shut down with immediate effect on Monday when some of its students appeared in school wearing hijab.
The action was against the management’s prescribed school dress code.
Some parents under the aegis of International School Muslim Parents’ Forum, had in a petition to the principal earlier stated that it wanted to “put the school management on notice of this resolution on the rights of our female children to commence the use of hijab from this academic session of 2018/2019.”
The petition was signed by Alhaji Abdurrhaman Balogun (chairman) and Bilikis Badiru (secretary) of the forum.
“Hijab wearing for young Muslim girls, apart from the fact that it is part of their religious belief, is part of their God given fundamental human right as well as the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the parents said.
But when the pupils arrived school wearing hijab, both school assembly and classes were cancelled.