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Muslim group enraged as reps panel adjourns hearing on hijab controversy

Muslim group enraged as reps panel adjourns hearing on hijab controversy
March 14
14:49 2018
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A house of representatives joint committee on justice and judiciary on Wednesday adjourned its planned public hearing on the hijab controversy.

But the adjournment, which followed a court order restraining the house from holding the hearing, did not go down well with the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).

There had been a controversy between the Nigerian Law School and Amasa Firdaus, a law graduate, who was not called to bar on the grounds that she wore a hijab to the call to bar ceremony.

The matter was taken to the house of representatives and a public hearing was fixed for it.

A coalition of lawyers, however, filed a suit asking the federal high court in Abuja to stop the house from conducting the hearing — a prayer the court granted.

The court had directed the committee to suspend the hearing pending the determination of a substantive suit seeking to prevent the lawmakers from holding the session.

Firdaus at the house of representatives on Wednesday

When the committee met on Wednesday, it announced that it would be forced to adjourn as a result of the court order.

The committee said it would wait till the outcome of the suit pending at the court to determine its next step.

But this angered the representatives of the MURIC who were present at the hearing.

Ishaq Akintola, MURIC president, immediately rose in anger, protesting the committee’s decision.

He accused the lawmakers of bias in the matter, adding: “what is the committee afraid of? The court did not stop it from investigating this issue.”

Akintola also said the Muslim body will resist any attempt to stop hijab in law schools in the country.

“An injury to one of us is an injury to all Muslims in the country,” he said.

MURIC had said in a statement issued on Tuesday said Firdaus “must get justice” on the matter.

“She has challenged an unjust status quo at a time many of us are succumbing to tyranny, oppression, and persecution,” the statement signed by Akintola read.

“The fact that a young lady has cried out in the midst of excruciating silence and in the face of repression should arouse the curiosity of women in the green chamber.

“The courage manifested by Firdaus should jog the chivalry in the veins of valiant men in the house.”

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