Why Hijab Is Not Welcomed At The Call To Bar Ceremony – An Open Letter To Amasa Firdaus

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why hijab not allowed call to bar

December 18, 2017 – Why Hijab Is Not Allowed At The Call To Bar – An Open Letter To Amasa Firdaus

By Bola Adewara

Speaking sincerely, I have nothing against the Hijab tradition. It is merely the covering of the head by women. Even the Bible advises our Christian women to also cover their heads. Women in Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Baptist, ECWA, mention them, churches do that always. It is a tradition I respect. I have nothing against it.

My concern is the crass assault on our secularism. When the convention of an institution is nonreligious, let us play the game according to the rule. Let us not create a wrong precedence that could be extended to an unknown diameter such that innocent organisations would be destroyed.

If the hijab thing is allowed at the call to the bar, we should expect the traditional worshippers to also come there someday dressed with red skirt and cowries all over and chalks all over their bodies. We should one day expect the Christians to also wear their choir robes to the law school. This will not be healthy for us.

This reminds me of how Aregbesola destroyed the peace in Osun state. What is this thing about religion? Must we die for it? Must we pollute innocent organisations with religious sentiments? Haba!

The Muslim sister should remember that removing her hijab for a few hours to allow the convention of the legal profession take its course does not open the gates of hell for her. She was not the only Muslim lady there. Other hijab wearing Muslim sisters complied. Even the Catholic sisters, another addicted head coverers obeyed the law school convention, and they are not going to hell for their obedience.

I heard that a former Chief Justice of the federation and five of her lecturers went to plead with her to obey, yet she refused. This is not how to be a woman. I am sure this is not what the Koran says. I suspect she was acting out a script along the Taliban lines. Forgive me if I am wrong.

My baby is an addicted head coverer. If she was asked to remove her scarf in reverence of such occasion, she will. If she refused, I will go there to tell her to obey immediately. I can control my wife. She is reasonable. What is the value of our education when we can’t be reasonable? Why do we need to raise unnecessary dust over religion, thereby giving outsiders reasons to laugh at us, calling us a religious country that has nothing to show for it. Since we have been fighting over religion, what have we gained?

The last time I checked, Muslims say Islam is peace. If so, let us seek peace, walk and work towards it always. Don’t violate what Islam stands for.

I expect all Muslims of good conscience to see this matter objectively. What that lady did was WRONG. Stop giving Islam a bad name. Stop painting Islam as intolerant of secularism. Stop painting Islam as an ISIS, Taliban thing. That lady is not doing Islam any good. I stand to be corrected.

66 thoughts on “Why Hijab Is Not Welcomed At The Call To Bar Ceremony – An Open Letter To Amasa Firdaus

    • Islam is not a fake religion mind ur talk, Islam is a religion of peace.
      And if u want to know what is Islam dnt look at the Muslim Jst go to the Quran and sahii hadith.
      the same thing with Christ if u want know what is Christianity no look at Christian look at Bible both Old Testament and New Testament. OK

      • with due respect, i hold affimatively that you are wrong. Your religion should tell in your character. Christian means christ-like(behaving like christ). i will judge any religion through the way its worshippers behave.

  1. Thank you for this write up.
    I for Nigerians and i pray for that day when we all will start looking at issues the way they really are, and stop dragging religion in every slightest opportunity.
    If the Arabs and the Western world never brought Islam and Christianity,is this how we will all be behaving?
    It’s a pity.

  2. THE WRITER is a sane minded fellow who knows how differenciate between a religious obligation and a national course of duty and when to draw the line too.

    All I know and even the Squirrels and Antelopes in the bush also knows is that this so called religion stands for nothing but war, trouble and violence. This is because even the devil himself is a muslim. Very very far from peace just like Heaven and Earth.

    I take a stroll…

    • I can’t believe you just said this. Well, I don’t blame you because I know you are not in the fold of Islam. How can you rate her academic performance on what she had done? Are you now telling us that the fact that she claimed her right probably mean she is a dullard? Pls watch what you say… .

  3. Hijab and religious apparel belong in mosques and churches, not in professional settings. We Africans are so full of pretenses. What has Hijab got to do with a lawyer’s wig and gown? If we were so “holy” as we appear outwardly, Nigeria would be one of the best countries in the world. A recent decision by a Judge in a Florida, United States court, upheld the decision that female drivers cannot hide their faces in veils in their driver license I.D. photos. If you cannot conform with the ethics of the profession, get out and go work in the mosque, period!

  4. Bola’s writeup is like a missile fired to further worsen the fragile peace between the Muslim and Christian faiths of the nation.
    imagine yourself being referred to as an agent of Taliban or Isis.how would you have felt?that statement is bereft of much needed wisdom shared by beloved men of God such as Abraham,Jesus,David,Joseph etc.
    A careless writeup like yours could spring up an unexpected and unending crisis in a country like our.
    when a fool talks in a public, he would say he stands to be corrected but the piece he put forward is meant to pass across messages of his.what a shameful act!
    pls be logical in any of writeup in order not to destroy the fragile peace in the country.

    • please Mr jamiu read well, the writer said the lady should not give outsiders the opportunity to see Islam as a tool for isis, the writer Never said the lady is an isis agent

  5. I bliv we Christians and Muslims worship d same God, The Holy Quran and the Holy Bible are the books of this same God we worship, so I will borrow a passage or should I say two from one of the books of this God we both worship… Matt 22:21 (Give to Caesar those things that belongs to Caesar and God those things that belong to God) and ROM 13:1 (Subject yourself unto higher authority (written as Government in some Bible versions)… (Let everyone subject himself unto Government authorities)
    So the onus is on us to balance our Godly and Social life… Hijab not allowed in that place is what I bliv Caesar(Govt) wants and she should give it to him, Hijab in a mosque is probably what Allah wants, then she should also give to Allah…

  6. nigeria can not be more secular than America. There are American lawyers and judges who wear hijab. In your christian faith you have divided it btw religion and state. In islam there is no separation of religion and state.

    Therefore, islam transcends mosques. Islam is a way of life. Hence hijab is identity of muslim women. Wigs you all wear, where did that come from?. Isnt that symbol of colonial master who are christians?.Besides, the lady already compromised hijab the way she dressed. Her hijab was supposed to be over her gown. It is you nigerian christians causing problems making issues where there is none. You do copy copy and follow follow your slave masters.

    There are many muslim women in workplace in America. There are bus drivers wearing hijab, there are judge wearing hijab and lawyers. And school children wearing hijab.

    You Nigerian christians are becoming more and more intolerant everyday and we not gonna take that shit from you. If you can not obey your religious dictate, abeg, let us be. Matter of fact, whoever conducted Bar association needs to be fired and i will start pressing charges for that. Bible and Quran are used to swear in in constitution. Constitution does not differentiate what is religion and what is not.. It only recognizes religious freedom.

    Hence, none of you christian followers of Paul has the right to say anything to that lady. Remove your wigs too and use gele. Your wig was enforced on you by the British. Take that shit off and wear gele. Bunch of nincompoops

    • and you think you have solved the problem Oga grow up not just growing old. you have barely provided a solution some of you only sit and wait to capitalize on troubles. you that is tolerant what have you suggested that is meaningful? we protect God instead of God protecting us.

    • ***** dey call people mumu you people should grow up ur religion is not the only one if u like take shit or mes na u no foolishness in high places

    • The lady you are here killing yourself to defend with all your big big grammar pause and ask yourself when she’s engaging in her usual premarital sex (which Islam frowns about) do you think she leaves the hijab on?what is her hijab covering when the entire hole down there is more of a basket sef?

      • Do you have evidence for this allegation? This is libelous and perjury which are criminal offences before God and Man

    • No one forced her to be a lawyer. It was her choice and passion for the profession. Secondly, there are rules and regulations guiding every profession,so why start complaining now, this complain should have started immediately she’got admission and if they refuse then she change her course. My sister why not go to where no one will stress you with this hijab issue. Let’s not make a mountain out of a mole hill, because some people are turning the hijab thing to make hate speech and before you know it people will start fighting and hurting each other, will you be happy when that happens? Please have a rethink. Peace

      • Nobody force her to study law. Yes. Then nobody should disturb from practicing.
        The colonial masters have gone far beyond being sentimental against anything Islamic.
        Stop all ignoramus comments. Hatred for Islam in the name of secularism cannot lead this country anywhere. Neighbors using hijab you are upset. Children to use hijab, problem. Adults to use it, wahala. Elite using it, they don’t respect the law. What exactly do you want from Muslims.
        All so called religious crisis in Nigeria were caused by this hatred. Sharia hatred to hijab hatred. The hatred is now us finding lasting solution to criminal boko haram saga

    • God bless you for this. They are just dabbling to what they have no knowledge about all in the name of I also want to talk

    • Amanda or whatever your name is. You really not making sense with your write-ups. Most of your commentaries refers to the United States societies however, the First Amendment prohibits encroachment on freedom of religion and its activity. But contrary is the case under Nigeria Constitution including the NBA code of conduct and ethics. So why confusing yourself when you lack knowledge of the facts. I resides in the States for a period of 27 years and have never come across a lady lawyer with hijab during court proceedings. Of course, such may happen in other corporate offices but certainly not in the court room. In addition, there are many Muslim attorneys practicing in the States but that does not preclude them from observing the ABA rules of professionalism. You need to check your facts very well before commenting on sensitive issue as this.

  7. May God in His infinite mercies save this blessed country called Nigeria from those who refuses to obey simple instruction. Can someone tell me if the country called Nigeria has ever scored good marks in terms of being religious?

  8. pls brother that was the way u think and our thinking differs so hold your religion and let us hold our own Islamic monotheism. on the day of judgment we will see the. difference between light and darkness

  9. the lady in question was fighting for her rights but in a TOTALLY wrong way. If she had sought for genuine advise I am SURE she would have gotten one. Before the call to Bar day she should have made a request to the authorities in charge for personal exemption regarding the dress code.If the concerned authorities refused she could have approached the court on civil rights ground, you never Can tell, the court could have granted her request if her lawyer made Superior argument

  10. Muslims are always funny with their funny religion, every time you see Muslim woman claiming holy by wearing that there gasbag, every ten Muslim ladies that passes me, nine is pregnant in their parents house with no husband,how did it happened? Any where you find Muslims peace is always scarce.yet you hear them telling people’s that Islam is a religion of Peace.

  11. @Jamiu,your response is exemplifying the Yoruba saying, ‘A o ti ko ifa nle, ifa tin se . Islam is truly a religion of peace. In your short response, you have thrown insults at the writer. The lady went to fight at a solemn ceremony–she didn’t deny that intent. There is no justification for that show of shame. Other Muslim law students were known to have sought alternatives in the past like getting a bigger wig. I am a Muslim and I would expect a lady to explore a much better route to conveying her concerns. I would never be proud of a child who would go to a ceremony with me as a parent by her side to make trouble. Do you know how you spent in the one year your child is in the law school. What kind of training was she exposed to by her parents. With the upheavals around the world and our own share of the Boko Haram violence, that incident was a debacle that we did not need. My daughter was called to the bar about 4 years ago and we are Muslims. Muslim ladies had got larger wigs!
    We really seminars and trainings on etiquette, professionalism and religious practices. We need to draw the needed line at unsavoury behaviour. Some of us really do.

  12. Bros jimoh jamiu, why are you attacking the reasonable writer again with your unreasonable thoughts, which fragile peace are you talking about, the number one threat to the peace of the world is religion and there can never be peace until we start doing things without religious influence.
    But the girl is a lawyer now and not alfa, while dint she abide with laws of her profession and leave religion out of this, another school of thought could even argue that she will definitely be biased if given opportunity to judge a case that involves a muslim, since she wish to start her career on tenet of religious extremism.
    Until humans start leaving the affairs of religion to the so called heaven that is popular for enacting them.
    As if she would have even been a muslim in the first place if not given birth in a muslim family.
    All of us are just fools in fools paradise with this religion thing.
    You have spoken well jare honourable writer.

  13. @Jamiu,your response is exemplifying the Yoruba saying, ‘A o ti ko ifa nle, ifa tin se . Islam is truly a religion of peace. In your short response, you have thrown insults at the writer. The lady went to fight at a solemn ceremony–she didn’t deny that intent. There is no justification for that show of shame. Other Muslim law students were known to have sought alternatives in the past like getting a bigger wig. I am a Muslim and I would expect a lady to explore a much better route to conveying her concerns. I would never be proud of a child who would go to a ceremony with me as a parent by her side to make trouble. Do you know how much you spend in the one year your child is in the law school. What kind of training was she exposed to by her parents. With the upheavals around the world and our own share of the Boko Haram violence, that incident was a debacle that we did not need. My daughter was called to the bar about 4 years ago and we are Muslims. Muslim ladies got larger wigs!
    We really need seminars and trainings on etiquette, professionalism and religious practices. We need to draw the needed line at unsavoury behaviour. Some of us really do.

  14. A careless write up … falls short of wisdom. sorry if you are offended! the writer cannot teach us our religion because of his/her upside down arrangement of Islamic understanding. you need to be told that what Fridaus did was Islam while we don’t blame others who couldn’t. A Muslim lady shouldn’t for any reason expose her hair in public, and if she should, indoor, a limit is also set- this is Islam. Beyond the limit Female Exposing her hair for a second is NOT Islam.
    you said aregbesola destroyed Osun. do we take that also as an irony? because Islam is in question here and aregbesola is a Muslim. Aregbesola must have,’destroyed’ osun by the development you fail to see in Osogbo, the strange school buildings we don’t see in other states, by 30+ million Naira released for On a Obadare burial, by allowing idol worshippers to exist and even declaring a public day to their credits,…. and I can keep going. You this hypocrite! sorry if you are offended!
    This is about Islam and not compiled letters you REVISE to sooth your purpose. prove me wrong, bola.

  15. Reply of an open letter of Bola Adewara
    Pls note that I’m not posting this to initiate religious argument whatsoever but to share the perception of Muslims so that you can know the point from which you address this kind of issue.

    I noticed that people view this issue from a common perspective ; if hijab is to be put on, people of other faith should put on their religious attire too. This made me recall the incidence that happened in Osun State when the Muslim Community were advocating for the use of hijab in the State Government Schools. Then adherents of other faith started going to school in their religious clothes, etc in other to show their perception on the issue.

    Don’t forget that hijab is not the only Islamic attire. Caps, turbans, etc are there for males too. But hijab is different because it came as a commandment just like our going to mosque on Fridays, five times daily, fasting in Ramadan, etc. Therefore, Muslims perceive the restrictions on the use of hijab as saying we shouldn’t go to mosque, fast, etc which means denying them of their fundamental right to worship.

    Don’t compare hijab with other religious attire like sutana, traditionalist clothes, etc. They are ceremonial clothes (not put on always) while hijab must be worn by a conscious Muslim woman always while outside her home.

    Therefore, saying hijab is not allowed in a profession is like saying Muslim women are not allowed in the profession.
    Saying hijab is not allowed in Government Schools is like saying Muslim women are not allowed in Government schools. Saying hijab is not allowed in public places is like saying Muslim women are not allowed to come out of their homes.

    People were saying; is she going to be the first Muslim to be called to bar? Of course no. But know that not all Muslims are conscious of their religion, some have non challant attitude towards it and some could be afraid.

    Indeed, this so called Western Education came with the Western Culture some of which are not inline with Islamic Culture, and Nigerian Muslims have been enduring all this while.

    Most of the rights of Muslims that are now acceptable in Nigerian education came up with difficulties. I could remember my secondary school days, being the second set of student in the school made Muslim students suffer a lot. A Federal Government School for that matter. But because the school was established in a Christian dominant town (ilesa) and most of the staffs are non-Muslims, we were denied of many rights. I can’t remember the number of times we were flogged for going to mosque, claiming we used like 10min of school activity up in the mosque. Yet they fix those activities like night prep, labour, etc at the stipulated times of prayer. Muslims girls were prevented from using hijab in the dinning hall, prep classes and the school premises, etc. But things now in order in the school but the early set of Muslim students suffered. This has been the the way Nigerian formal activities had been over the years but Muslims were enduring.

    Nigerians need to tolerate and respect other people’s religion in other to promote peace and unity.
    By by
    @ least hijab is allowed in public offices in some developed non Muslim countries.
    Written by: Raji Ridwan

  16. Pls we should not bash this lady for not removing her hijab, í think she has total right to refuse, must someone sacrifices his tomorrow just for today?? Those with complete sense must’ve grasp what i mean. I rest my case.

  17. May God almighty Allah save and guide us aright. Although many people use this privilege of hijab to say what they like. All I know is that the truth will forever prevail insha allahu.

  18. Do you have evidence for this allegation? This is libelous and perjury which are criminal offences before God and Man

  19. Is it law or convention guiding the dress code for that event?
    can a convention from any institution overrule the constitution of the land which protected our right?

  20. we love to be preaching fear of God under the umbrella of religion but in real sense we are demons.For one minute we never preach the real truth and fear of God, always looking for where we can blame one or the other, this is devilish act. remember to be religious is different from fear of God, in real sense one can be too religious, but within he doesn’t fear God even, so we should be wise enough not to be intimidated by such people, thank you so much.

  21. With all due respect to this writer, it seems that you don’t really understand much about Islam and Muslims. Islam is not just some religion that is practiced in the masjid, it’s a way of life for us. We practice it wherever we find ourselves, and us violating any commandment of Allah hurts us much more than it would a Christian or a traditionalist who thinks his/her religion is restricted only to the Church or Shrine, with all due respect to both the aforementioned.
    And the real question actually should be; why do our lawyers have to where wigs,WIGS when they practice their profession? That just goes to show you that we Africans are still following about our colonial masters like puppies, copying everything they do and desperately trying to please them. That, my man, is the real reason why we’re still backwards in Africa. If we could just cast asides rules that were layed out for us by the colonialists which make no sense, and embrace our cultures and traditions, incorporating them into our systems like countries such as Japan, then we will definitely see our country move forward (in shaa Allah). It’s not that difficult really. After all, despite our differences in culture and religion we Africans share tons of common values which we all cherish.
    I know you probably wrote this article with good intentions, so I’m not writing this to try and downgrade you or anything, I just wrote it because I thought I as a Muslim ought to clarify some things to you.

  22. I appreciate the sincerity and innocence of the writer.
    Our secular institution! Why are the Govt of the so called secular state take oath of office with Bible and Quran? It is better to ask Questions rather than passing Judgment.
    Our colonial masters that gave us secularism allow hijab for the hijab adherents in all their public institutions (police, offices, schools etc) . Do we in Nigeria know secularism more than them?
    The other optimistic secular countries of the world where Muslims are even minorities are given consideration in their system. Check out for calling to bar in Kenya and the likes.
    Obeying the secularism law without questions led us to where we are today in Nigeria. Must we disregard other people values for the wishes of some people?
    Education leads out of ignorance. But it is a pity in Nigeria that our so called “educated” are so indoctrinated to what they wanted to know. What will it cost our ” educated” to read and learn about other people values rather than expecting everyone to abandon whatever is valuable to them.
    In Nigeria, educated Muslims are using ” secular” legal means to seek their rights. But instead of people of other religions to love their neighbors with their values, they turn to blackmail, propaganda, ranting and other ways of uncivilized fellow. Check osun saga reports objectively.
    Long live Nigeria. But we need to use our heads and senses always rather than being emotional with issues every times

  23. I can’t believe you just said this. Well, I don’t blame you because I know you are not in the fold of Islam. How can you rate her academic performance on what she had done? Are you now telling us that the fact that she claimed her right probably mean she is a dullard? Pls watch what you say… .

  24. I just can’t think of the reason you had said this- (The Muslim sister should remember that removing her hijab for a few hours to allow the convention of the legal profession take its course does not open the gates of hell for her.)……….Do you even know the implication of what you advised her to do? I realised from your post that you want her to leave the rule laid down by her creator in favour of rule laid down by Nigeria where even in the Nigerian constitution, it is clearly stated that people have right to their religious beliefs. Going by the constitution, wasn’t she denied of her right as a Nigerian? How would you have felt if your wife was the one in her position and she was told to strip off her dress (since you people believe wearing only dresses even if its armless is enough to cover your nakedness) before she could gain entrance into an occasion like that? would you had said it is not bad since its what other people had done? pls don’t limit your thinking to your belief alone next time you want yo write an article……

  25. Criticize wisely and stop being foolish. Islam is a true religion and every believer should abide by it rules and regulations. Hijab is a wear and the right for the Muslim ladies everywhere in the world. Let her put on the hijab. She isn’t going to judge by hijab or favour anybody in the court but she is going there to carryout what is expected of her as a lawyer.

  26. The truth is that since she known she will not open her why did she go to the Convention. She just make to make headline jare

  27. I am in support of what they did.

    It is thesame as a girl wearing Hijab to the exam hall.

    We can’t continue to place religious sentiments above rationality allowing some sectional religious obligations to calibrate our senses.

    Justice must be fair to all, same rule must apply to everyone irrespective of religion.

    I so submit.

  28. she made herself a sample or sacrifice on the alter of profession VS religion. which yielded nothing for her.
    all i see here was just a childish feminism, which is expected of any lady. She’s right displaying her religion. but she did it in wrong place and a detestable time.

    How many hours does she spend in making her hair!!. Didnt she put off the hijab whenever she making her hair.!! So as can’t respect her nation law for 2 hours despite its just once in a life time.

    Some respectable personalities talk to her to put off the hijab but she refused. She don’t respect God’s people but she has it in mind that she has respect God!!!

    think about it as i temporarily submit

  29. Hijab is not a mere head covering for a matured Muslim female. It is her dress code when she goes out & is in the presence of men who can marry her (when she is in public view). This is a direct injunction on an adult Muslim female from the Almighty God for her to be Identified & not Molested. Q24:31.

    You need to prove the secularism of Nigeria to me when the so called ethics handed over to us by the colonialists have a Christian origin. In which case, the egos of the Christians are being massaged by the Nigerian system, ignoring /neglecting the rights of other citizens.

    No body/law is above the constitution of a country. A country that preaches freedom of religion & association in private & public in her constitution & now refuses one this freedom…..how do you see that, don’t you think something is wrong somewhere?

    Sundays & Saturdays are resting days for sabbath & church but 1hr will not be given to Muslims on Friday for their own worship unless they clamour & agitate for itetc, and you tell me Nigeria is a secular state?

    Let’s be objective & not sentimental. Let’s call a spade a spade please.

  30. My fellow Nigerians, I believe you people have complicated issues on ground than dealing with petty issue that has no basis under Nigeria Constitution and the NBA charters. The country is crumbling under your watch daily and surprisingly, most energies are furthering on baseless matter. Majority are quick to stay away from national matter that concerns your future generation. During National election most people bluntly refused to perform their civic duties because of the resentments developed towards the political cohorts and democracy at large. If only, you people can channel the same energy on political debates that will stare the country in right direction would be applauding. Rather than wasting valuable time on debating and fighting one another over hijab issue.

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