“Reverse Discriminatory Policies”- Muslim Groups Tell Lagos Govt

The Joint Muslim Forum, JMF, a Muslim group has called on the Lagos State government to put an end to actions and policies that constitute discrimination against Muslims in the state.

At a press conference held on Thursday at the Rahmat Islamiyyah hall, Ikeja Lagos, JMF noted that Muslims have suffered various degrees of discrimination, as no administration has supported any Islamic cause since 1999.

The Islamic group alleged that no single policy of the state has favored the Muslims or given them advantage over other religions.

They gave instances of inadequate representation of Muslims in political appointments in Lagos State and the ban on the use of hijab in schools and public places as forms of abuse of the rights of Muslims in the state.

They also claimed that Muslim students are persecuted for wearing Hijabs, adding that this amounts to unfair treatment to people who have supported the government while promoting peaceful coexistence regardless of what they described as “blatant provocations.”

Shonaike Oyedele, an official of JMF who spoke on behalf of the group said that Lagos seems to be operating on another constitution different from that of the other parts of Nigeria like Ekiti and some northern states where Muslim students are allowed to wear hijab.

Ishaq Akintola, director of the Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, said Muslim groups in Lagos State would jointly appeal the court judgment delivered by Grace Onyeabo, who ruled that the restriction placed on the use of the Hijab in primary and secondary public schools in the state was not discriminatory.

JMF called on the present administration in the state to rescind its determination to ban the use of headscarf in public schools across the state. They demanded that Muslim females be allowed to wear hijab in all places of work.

“Muslim science students should not be stopped from taking Islamic studies. State sponsored decoration of streets and highways in preparation for Christmas including countdown to Gregorian New year day must either stop or (be) extended to Muslim festivals as well,” the statement read in part with other demands of the Muslims outlined.

At the conference, the Lagos Islamic groups also reiterated their stance that they would not vote any gubernatorial candidate who would not incorporate Islamic values into his administration.

The Muslims emphasized that JMF is an association of different Islamic groups and not a political or profit oriented organization.

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