A recent conference of the Coalition of Muslim Women Organizations in Nigeria, organized in support of women’s right to cover themselves, saw bold assertions from speakers and participants, in favor of the hijab. Held to mark the World Hijab Day, the conference, held at the capital Abuja on February 10, was attended by many female scholars and academics from across Nigeria.
The slogan for this year’s conference was: “Stand for Muslim women’s right to cover.” The conference reaffirmed that no group or people anywhere in the world has the right to force Muslim women to take of their hijab.
Guest Lecturer, Mr. Abdulwahab Oyedojun, was one of the speakers of the conference. “Islam is a religion that guarantees respect and decency of women, by ordering them to cover themselves,” he said, addressing the gathering. “We are not begging that we be allowed to use the hijab. Hijab is our right as Muslims, as citizens and as international citizens, because the Qur’an affirms it, the Constitution guarantees it, and the international laws recognize it. So we cannot allow attempts to denounce its use,” he said.
The participants lamented the situations in many schools where girls are forced to take off their headscarves. They also expressed outrage at a recent controversy where a female graduating student was barred from receiving her certificate because she refused to remove her hijab. The attendees urged Nigeria’s legislative assembly to expedite a public hearing on the controversy.