Dr Habeeba Adam, a former Deputy Rector of Kwara State Polytechnic, llorin, on Tuesday said that Hijab covering worn by Muslim women is not a symbol of oppression but piety.
Adam made the assertion during her paper presentation at the 2022 World Hijab Day Celebration organised by the Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), Kwara Chapter.
The theme of the 2022 World Hijab Day is titled: “Hijab Our Crown and Not our Crime”.
She explained that the Hijab Day is an annual event founded by Nazma Khan on February 1, 2013, and observed in more than 140 countries of the world.
According to her, the purpose of the day is to encourage women of all religions and background to wear, experience and appreciate the Hijab.
“It is also to educate and spread awareness on why Hijab is worn, to help address the challenge faced by those wearing the Hijab and to show the world that Muslim women are dressed and not oppressed,” she said.
Adam described the Hijab as the veil worn by Muslim females to cover the head , bosom and the whole body, adding that it provides them with both spiritual and physical peace and harmony.
She emphasised that it was not just a code but signified something deeper which accorded her the highest form of respect and status in Islam.
“The Hijab is basically for modesty, but it goes much deeper than just a cloth on your head.
“It’s a symbolic form of worship. Modesty is a very key part of Islamic faith; it’s the essence of our faith, so we’re wearing that on our heads to represent that worship,.
“A rose protects its beauty with thorns,” she said.
According to Adam, the Hijab is not an object of oppression or a crime asking that discrimination against those who use the Hijab must stop.
“Enduring the silent ban on the use of Hijab in public schools is allowing injustice, Muslim women in Hijab pay Educational tax and their children have rights to go to public schools with their Hijabs on if they wish to,” she said.
In another lecture, Mrs Mutiat Olusheyi, Schoolo Lamp Bearers Islamic School, Ilorin, said: “Islam gave economic rights to women to own properties and engage in economic ventures just as their male counterparts.
“The Hijab transcends material coverings. It encompasses the whole general disposition of the woman and her morality,” she said.
According to her, the Hijab is surrounded by piety and God consciousness and people who use it should not be subjected to ridicule and oppression because of their mode of dressing.
Earlier in her welcome address, Hajia Nimat Labaika, the Amirah of FOMWAN , Kwara Chapter, said that the Hijab day creates awareness about the victimisation of Muslim women and girls who wear Hijab for modesty and platform for advocacy.
She appealed to government at all levels to end the increasing assaults on Muslim girls who wear Hijab in their various schools.