Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has warned residents against harassing any female Muslim for wearing Hijab.
The Hijab is a veil or scarf usually worn by female Muslims to cover their heads and other parts of their body in public. Some Muslim women and students had been molested by authorities of their schools or agencies on the basis of their Hijab.
A recent case is that of a female student who was harassed in class at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Ogbomoso.
Makinde has, however, sent a strong message to heads of government agencies and institutions in the state, warning them not to harass anyone for wearing Hijab.
Makinde issued the warning in a message he released as part of activities to mark 2022 World Hijab Day.
The governor while congratulating the Muslim Ummah in the state, especially the female Muslims on the 2022 World Hijab Day, further assured that the present administration in the state will not trample on the religious rights of anyone.
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Makinde, in a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Islamic Affairs, Imam AbdRasheed AbdAzeez, insisted that his administration will not oppose activities and practices that will promote godliness and modesty.
He maintained that the hijab is a covering that not only beautifies the wearer but also helps in advancing decency in society.
He said his government will not tolerate any act of intimidation or molestation of female Muslims because of their Hijab.
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“I want to congratulate the Muslims on the 2022 World Hijab Day. If the Quran says female Muslims should wear hijabs, our government will not oppose it. Since our constitution guarantees freedom of religion, my administration will not prevent anyone from following his/her religious dictates.
“I have instructed those in positions of authority in the state’s public service and across all our public schools not to intimidate or harass anyone because of their religious beliefs or practices.
“Our government is god-fearing and we will continue to preach religious tolerance, equality and justice, which will further engender peaceful coexistence, love and togetherness.
“As the theme of this year’s celebration suggests, hijab is the pride of every female Muslim and it remains sacrosanct.”