The Muslim Hijab (female veil) or Niqab is not only an Islamic religious symbol and identity, it is also an apparel and garment of feminine modesty and an outfit commanded to be worn by God (Allah) to conceal the outward beauty of females and preserve them for their husbands alone, and to maintain the chastity and pride of womanhood.
If the words of President Muhammadu Buhari during his maiden edition of presidential media chat held on Wednesday 30th December 2015 was to be taken seriously, the federal government is already considering a possible ban on Hijab if book haram terrorists continues to use it to perpetuate evil.
It is true that the use of female minors wearing Hijab as suicide bombers by terrorists has been on the increase recently, it is also true that the veil has always created a cover of some sort for suicide bombers, making it difficult for security agents to know or easily identify who is strapped with the deadly explosive and who isn't.
Banning the Hijab will be an unrealistic approach in Nigeria's fight against terrorism. It is on record that more deadlier attacks had been carried out by bokoharam using vehicles, motorcycles, hand bags and even cell phones during which hundreds of innocent Nigerians have lost their lives while thousands more have suffered degrees of injuries and parmanent disabilities.
Yet the federal government hasn't considered a ban on vehicles, motorcycles, hand bags or cell phones anywhere in this country.
A number of terrorist activities, armed robberies, kidnapping and assassinations had been carried out by men in suit in so many parts of Nigeria at different time during which several lives and valuable properties were lost, yet the government hasn't deemed it necessary to consider banning the use of suits.
Hence, a ban on Hijab if anything will only make the bokoharam terrorists get more creative in seeking alternative ways in carrying out their evil acts of terrorism. Rather than banning the Hijab, the Muslim feminine religious symbol which is capable of sending the wrong signal and further create religious tension, the federal government should map out a more holistic approach to prosecuting the ongoing war on terror.
If the government bans Hijab will they also ban Abgada, Babariga and Caftan garments due to the fact that bombs and explosives could be easily concealed underneath?
Instead of considering an outright ban on Hijab which would be tantamount to treating the symptoms of an illness and neglecting the actual illness or its root cause, the government should rather consider more practical approaches like acquiring high power bomb detective gadgets which can detect bombs and explosives from a comfortable distance to be used and installed in public places like schools, hospitals, motor parks, churches and mosques, and other public garderings.
The war against terrorism should not be allowed to deprive or rob a people of their moral and descent dress code, and religious identity.
If bokoharam is so powerful to dictate what we should wear, what we should eat or how we should move around it therefore means that the terrorists may have successfully instilled fear in Nigerians and gotten Nigeria to its kneels. Does this not amount to technically losing the war to bokoharam?
Hussain Obaro...firstname.lastname@example.org... Ilorin-kwara state
- News24 Nigeria
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