The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has responded pronto to the false report on the alleged removal of hijab from the heads of female Muslims corps members who are currently serving in Lagos state, urging all Muslims in the state to ignore the allegation and embrace peace.
If we recall, the group was alerted on Monday, 18th May, 2015 that hijab – commonly called head scarf – was being removed from the heads of female Muslim corps members at the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) camp in Iyana Ipaja, Lagos State.
In a statement issued on Thursday by MURIC, it said, ”The office of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) immediately became inundated with calls while social media went agog. We immediately set the machinery in motion to find out the veracity of the report. To our surprise, we discovered that the story was grossly exaggerated as no female Muslim corps member suffered such humiliation.
”In view of the volatile nature of the Nigerian society and in view of the fact that Nigeria has witnessed too many religious riots which led to the shedding of blood and destruction of properties, we decided to nip the rumour in the bud before things went too far.
”A four-man team led by the Director of MURIC (and three other members) visited the NYSC camp at Iyana Ipaja, Lagos, for proper investigation.
The team was warmly received by the NYSC officials comprising the Lagos State Coordinator of the NYSC secretariat, the Camp Director and the Camp Commandant. Two female Muslim corps member at the center of the hijab imbroglio were also in attendance.
”Our findings show that contrary to reports no female Muslim corper was asked to remove her hijab and none had her hijab removed. They were all allowed to use their hijab except four of them who wore extra-long hijab. These four were requested to reduce the length of their hijab to allow for camp activities. Two of them complied while two refused. One of the two who refused also behaved rudely to the Camp Commandant who also happened to be a Muslim from the North.
The two corps member who refused to reduce their hijab were present at the meeting and we were able to counsel them. It is didactic that both of them confirmed that NYSC officials did not attempt to remove their hijab.
MURIC warns the general public against spreading false and malicious information which are capable of causing public disorder. In particular, we charge Muslims to investigate reports properly before judging issues. The peace and tranquility which Lagos State has been enjoying for years would have been disturbed over this minor issue if urgent action had not been taken to douse tension. At stake also are the career of innocent NYSC officials and the lives of corps members inside the camp.
Allah says in the Glorious Qur’an, “Oh you who believe, if a tale-bearer brings a report to you, investigate it (before taking any action) so that you may not harm innocent people inadvertently and become full of regret over your action.” (Qur’an 49:6)
Finally, we affirm that there was no incident of the seizure of hijab or placement of ban on it at the Lagos NYSC Camp. The NYSC officials and the Camp Commandant have been treating the youth corps member in their care in loco parentis. Muslims in Lagos and elsewhere are therefore requested to remain calm and law-abiding.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)