The Director-General of the NYSC, Brig.-Gen. Johnson Olawumi, on Tuesday announced a ban on the use of “long hijab” by female corps members, citing security concerns.
But MURIC, in a statement by its director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, said the ban is unacceptable to Muslims and accused the NYSC DG of Islamophobia.
“The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) rejects the purported ban. It is reckless, baseless and preposterous. No public officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should speak in such manner.
“The pronouncement smacks of power drunkenness. It is a hate statement. The Director General needs to purge himself of Islamophobia.
“On what ground is he banning the use of hijab? Security reason is not enough because we have examples of armed robbers using police uniforms to rob.
“Has anyone thought of banning police uniform? About forty armed robbers dressed in army uniform attacked six banks in Agbara, Ogun State last week. They killed a policeman and a pregnant woman. Should we ban army uniform because of that?
“Does the DG know that hijab is an integral, nay, the most vital part of a female Muslim’s dress? Does he know that female Muslim corpers feel as if they are unclad when disallowed from using the hijab? Is he aware of the psychological trauma such female
Muslim corpers go through?
“How can we spend a lifetime training our daughters to dress decently and you dehumanize them in your camp within 24 hours? How dare you?
“We affirm that we will use every constitutional means to stop this religious apartheid against Muslims in the name of discipline and regimentation.
“Why must Muslims face persecution everywhere in Nigeria? Why can’t the Nigerian system accommodate and integrate the Islamic culture? Why can’t Nigerian officials allow Islamic landmarks to stand pari passu with British colonial and Christian culture?
“Is Nigeria truly independent or is it a banana republic created to serve only the interest of the British imperial masters? Must Muslims be forced to accept British Christian mode of dressing?