Boko Haram: Hijab-Wearing Muslims Can Be Searched – Akeredolu | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Boko Haram: Hijab-Wearing Muslims Can Be Searched – Akeredolu

Posted: Jul 13, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Temidayo Akinsuyi Lagos

Former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Rotimi Akeredolu on Sunday said the use of hijab by Muslim women in the country should not be banned by the federal government.



He however said the security agencies have the constitutional right to conduct search on anyone whose movement is found to be suspicious be it male or female.

Following the rising cases of bomb blasts in the country especially by female suicide bombers , the army and the police had deployed female operatives for the purpose of frisking women wearing hijabs especially in states where Boko Haram have attacked more than once. However, this did not go down well with some Muslims across the country who said that such an action would amount to profiling them.

According to the Convener, Muslim Rights Concern and Professor of Islamic Eschatology at the Lagos State University, Professor Ishaq Akintola, the Muslim community was against the search of women wearing hijab.

Akintola had said: “It will amount to profiling Muslim women. The repercussion will even be graver than we ever expected. Already, the Nigeria elite are discriminating against Muslim women and Muslims generally. Muslims have the right to dress the way they like.

“Let the security agencies do their work; they know what to do. There is deep intelligence. They should nip conspiracy and plots to bomb in the bud.”

It will also be recalled that Nigeria’s neighbour, Chad – which is also part of the multinational joint task force – banned women from wearing hijab both in private and public places, following two suicide bomb attacks.

The hijab was also banned in public places in Congo-Brazzaville, to counter terrorism in May.

Speaking in a chat with Daily Independent, Akeredolu said the security crisis in the country has not gotten to a critical stage where people can talk of the outright ban on the hijab.

He argued that the security agencies reserve the right to search citizens, but added that such search should only apply to those whose movements are suspicious and can constitute a threat to the society.

He said: “You cannot ban the use of hijab outrightly given the security crisis in the country; the best thing to do now is for our security agencies to be more alert. And I think they are already doing that”.

“If there is any suspicious movement, you apprehend the suspect and conduct the usual search.  They can be searched but that should not be for everybody.  It is only those who are suspicious”.

“Whether a person is wearing hijab or not, once the movement is suspicious, the security forces can arrest such a person and conduct a search on them.

“But if the security crisis gets to a critical stage, the issue whether of whether nor not to ban hijab will now be considered.”