A female Muslim candidate writing the current exams of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), Khadijat Eniola Anisere, was reportedly assaulted by a female supervisor of WAEC at Egan Grammar School, Igando, Lagos state.
Professor Ishaq Akintola, Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), informed about this in a statement made available to NAIJ.com on September 5, Monday.
According to the human rights organisation the incident occurred while candidates were taking biology on Friday, September 2, between 9.30 am and 12 noon. The WAEC supervisor, who was shuttling from one center to the other, arrived the center and entered the examination hall where the Muslim girl was seated among many other candidates, clothed in hijab.
The statement further reads: “She approached the hijabite and ordered her to remove her hijab. Khadijah pleaded that hijab was her mode of dressing as a Muslim. She further pleaded that she would feel totally naked if she removed the head cover. Obviously enraged and determined to enforce her illegal command, the WAEC supervisor yanked off the hijab from the poor girl’s head. Khadijah, whose examination was already interrupted, burst into tears.
“She cried throughout the rest of the examination period and was unable to continue taking the examination. The incident was reported by members of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) at the human rights desk in Igando Police Station by 10 am on Saturday, September 3.”
MURIC strongly condemned this assault on an innocent female Muslim teenager. It defined the incident as the most bizarre, highly barbaric and totally deplorable.
“This is a hate attack and a blatant act of Islamophobia. We see it as part of a grand design to retard the progress of Muslim youths. Christian fanatics working in government agencies like WAEC have been instructed by hate preachers to create bottlenecks for Muslim youths by all possible means,” the statement added.
“Section 38 (i) & (ii) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria not only grants freedom of religion but also stipulates its practice and manifestation. Hijab is therefore a legally recognized head cover for female Muslims.
“The supervisor’s order for the removal of the hijab was unlawful, unconstitutional and therefore ultra vires. The forceful removal of the candidate’s hijab constitutes assault in legal parlance.”
WAEC must identify this extremist supervisor and discipline her. People like her are responsible for series of religious crises that have resulted in loss of lives and destruction of properties worth billions of naira. What Nigeria needs most today is peace and stability and our public institutions cannot afford to create unnecessary tension at this point in time. We assert that justice is the soul of peace and whoever denies one can never enjoy the other.
“We therefore demand a public statement from WAEC on the supervisor’s identity and the official reprimand failing which WAEC should blame itself for the reaction of Muslims,” the statement concluded.
Earlier the WAEC said it will not make an exception to their requirement for passport pictures after some Islamic experts expressed concern over their insistence that Muslim girls need to remove a religious apparel, the hijab, before they could take their photos for registration.
DISCLAIMER:Opinion articles are solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers of ABN TV