24, July 2016
An appeals court in Nigeria has ruled against a ban on Nigerian Muslim girls to wear the headscarf to schools in the southwestern state of Lagos. The appeals court in Lagos overturned an earlier ruling in 2013 that had banned the right to hijab in government schools in the state. The new ruling “has restored hope in the judiciary,” said Ishaq Akintola, the director of the Muslim Rights Concern group. Also, in the southwestern state of Osun, the High Court ruled last month that any harassment of girls exercising their choice of hijab constituted an infringement on their rights.
Nigeria has an estimated population of about 170 million people and is almost equally divided between a mainly-Muslim north and a predominantly-Christian south. Secretary-General Ishaq Oloyede of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs in Nigeria has suggested that the anti-hijab campaign in some parts of the country’s Christian-dominated areas is an effort by religious extremists to force Muslim girls into an unacceptable choice between schooling and religion.