Following the rise of female suicide bombers in Northern Nigeria, there are indications that the Federal Government may be forced to ban the hijab(head scarves worn by Muslim females).
However, the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has advised the Federal Government against banning Hijab saying such proposal would be unconstitutional.
Mr Okey Wali, the President of the association rather urged the government to find a lasting and peaceful solution to the security challenges threatening the country.
Wali said that placing a ban on wearing Hijab due to the recent spate of attacks by female suicide bombers was not a positive and lasting strategy to curbing insecurity.
Wali said that it was the right of every individual to dress according to the requirement of his or her religion, adding that it was not an option to ask female Muslim faithful to stop wearing the Hijab.
"Wearing of Hijab by the female Muslim faithful has religious as well as cultural meaning, and nobody can take away that right from them. The security agencies should find lasting solutions to the country’s security challenges rather than place a ban on wearing of Hijab as that is an easy way out,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Emmanuel Akubor, Lecturer, Department of History, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, however, supported a temporary ban on the use of Hijab, describing it as a security measure to curb the trend.
"For security reasons, the best thing for now is to place a temporary ban on the Hijab not for religious but security reasons. People should not see a ban on the Hijab as showing hatred for the religion, but because some persons have resolved to use the clothing to harm and terrorise others,” he said.
Akubor said due to these new method devised by terrorists to harm citizens, other female Muslim faithful who wore the Hijab would suffer discrimination as people may not want to associate with them due to fear.
He said that the temporary ban would prevent further use of the veil as an instrument to perpetrate any form of crime in the society as terrorists would not be able to disguise themselves.
Akubor said although the temporary ban would ignite protest among the Muslim community, religious leaders should educate and sensitise their followers to regard the ban as a means to achieving peace for the country.
He suggested that in place of the full length Hijab or Niqap, the neck or shoulder length Hijab should be allowed as it could still enable the female cover herself.
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