We Will Use Every Legal Means To Fight Buhari, If He Bans Hijab- Muslim Groups

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Some Muslim groups have said they
will use every lawful means to resist any attempt by President Muhammadu Buhari
to place a ban on veils for Muslim women in the country.
These Muslim groups which include
the Muslim Rights Concern, Muslim Ummah of South-West of Nigeria and Muslim
Students Society of Nigeria told Sunday Punch on Saturday that the proposal by
the Federal Government along with some West African leaders was unacceptable.
President Buhari along with other
Heads of States and Government of the Economic Community of West African
Countries had on Friday called for a ban on all dress codes that tend to hide
people’s identity.

The Federal Government was part of
a meeting held during the week by the Economic Community of West African States
which issued a communiqué on Friday after the two-day meeting calling for a ban
on face veils as the region contend with the challenges of terrorism,
particularly from Boko Haram.
In separate telephone interviews
with a Punch correspondent, the various Islamic bodies stated that the proposed
ban on Muslim dress codes was unacceptable.
The National Amir of the MSSN,
Muhammad Jameel Muhammad, stated that the proposed ban or restriction would not
be accepted by Muslims. He said; “We are making our position known next week
(this week). We will not allow our fundamental rights to be trampled upon. We
will use every possible lawful means to ensure that the proposed ban does not
happen. We are ready to take the matter to court to defend our rights.”
Speaking in a similar vein, the
Director of the Muslim rights group, MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, said that
group does not agree with the idea of banning Muslims’ veils in order to fight
against insurgents in the country. According to him, neither the Federal
Government nor the ECOWAS has the power to stop Muslims from wearing veils.
“We do not agree with any ban on
veil. Muslims are free to use hijab. Every Muslim woman has the right to.
Banning of the veil is not a solution to countering terrorism. I don’t agree
any form of such a ban will be acceptable to Muslims. The country’s security
agencies should know what to do to curb terrorism.
“Banning a particular dress of
Muslims is not the way to go. They do not have the power to ban it. ECOWAS does
not have the power to ban the culture of a people,” Prof. Akintola said.
The Executive Secretary of MUSWEN,
Professor Dawud Noibi, told Sunday Punch that the veil used by Muslims all over
the world including Nigeria is sensitive to the values of Islam and Muslims.
Noibi said, “I would imagine that
veil is something very sensitive to the values of Muslims and Islam. It is
something Muslims hold very dear – proper dressing by women; it is part of the
Islamic injunction.

“Some other ways of preventing
terrorism should be sourced (by the Federal Government). I said this as a
general comment because I have not read the communiqué. Religious values (as
the use of veils by Muslims) require very careful handling.”

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