On February 7, 2016, as part of the World Hijab Day, over 2,000 hijab-wearing women accompanied by teenage girls marched in streets in Sarajevo against recent banning of hijab at country’s judicial institutions.
The protesters, marching for hours through the city, raised banners reading Hijab is My Daily Choice, Hijab is My Right and Hijab is My Life.
“We gathered to protest against prejudices, discrimination and marginalization,” said Samira Zunic Velagic, a protest organizer.
“The ban on wearing hijab in judicial institutions is a serious attack against Muslim honor, personality and identity, a violation aimed at depriving them of their right to work,” she added.
The ban decision by Bosnia’s high judicial council (US-EU Dayton Accord creation) is strongly condemned by Bosnia’s Muslim political and religious leaders, the ban affects judges and other employees in the judicial sector.
“We came here to say that we are not the victims of this scarf. We came to defend our rights. It is our crown, our liberty, our honor,” one of the protesters said.
Hijab was banned by the communist authorities while Bosnia was still part of the former Yugoslavia until 1992 when it proclaimed independence.
Bosnian Muslims constitute 53 percent of the country’s 3.8 million population.
Bosnia’s first president Alija Ali Izetbegovic in his memoir exposes US president Bill Clinton’s envoy at the Dayton Peace Accord, Richard Holbrooke’s dirty Jewish tricks in turning Bosnian army’s victory against invading Serbian army into a defeat. Read more here, here and here.
On February 2, a group of women rights activists held a rally and press conference in front of the New York City Hall in Manhattan on World Hijab Day to condemn anti-Muslim propaganda – mainly funded by pro-Israel lobby groups.
On February 5, 2016, several hundred women protested in front of Nigeria’s Lagos State Assembly building against government’s plan to ban Hijab.
A World Hijab Day lecture was held at the National Mosque in Abuja on February 6. The keynote speaker was Fatima Abubakar Idris, an official of Abuja Municipal Education Authority. Her lecture, entitled, Hijab: Our Obligation, Symbol of Piety and Good Conduct; below is worth understanding.
Perhaps one of the most talked about religious and cultural issues locally and on the international arena recently, and side by side with terrorism, is the Muslim woman’s hijab. Although the highlights have always been that of misunderstanding and misconception, lately the focus has turned on the credibility of those who put it on, and this is due to the activities of miscreants who abuse the hijab as they hide under its cover to perpetrate evil.
Muslim women are usually asked: why do we observe the hijab? We simply say we observe the hijab because Allah commands us to. However, in modern times, many people wonder what the great deal is about veiling, and why a woman should veil at all. Truth is that Islam has always defined itself as a way of life rather than a religion of mere rituals. It is true that mutual attraction between males and females is an instinctive characteristic. It is mentioned in Riyadhus Salihin that one of the righteous people had said: ‘If I were entrusted with the treasury of the people, I would be able to fulfil that commitment; but if I were entrusted with a woman, I fear lest I cannot fulfil that commitment.’ This shows that the temptation which exposure with a woman portends could be greater than that which exposure to wealth does.
So what to do? Since man was created weak and desirous, the Creator Himself made rules that regulate man’s behaviour and provided limits that must not be exceeded in order to maintain harmony in the society and to prevent humans from satisfying their lusts through illegal means. Hence the blocking of all avenues that can lead to temptation – and such preventive measures include lowering of the gaze by both genders, prohibiting men from being in seclusion with non-mahram women, encouraging young people to marry and ordering the Muslim rulers to facilitate marriage for the youths, and women veiling themselves.
And then what is the implication of putting on the hijab? It signifies compliance with divine injunction, of submission to Allah’s Will no matter the personal inconvenience, and of courage in the face of ridicule. It signifies the desire to live by the rules, and of striving to attain piety. It is also a willingness to aspire for purity. Putting on the hijab means you are ready to be recognised as a Muslim woman and so you should be ready to observe all the rules accompanying its use. When you put on the hijab, you are making a statement that you are a free, respectable Muslim lady.
How absurd then it is then for someone to put on the hijab and perpetrate evil! This can only be explained by the fact that perhaps that person has some form of mental incapacity. But even if some misguided immature girl decides to hide under the cover of hijab to commit evil, it does not give anybody the right to ban the use of hijab by the overwhelming number of decent Muslim women of the world. People have hidden under the cover of religion to commit atrocities, and such people are found in the various religions of the world, but it is neither correct to hold the particular religions responsible for the actions of such bad followers, nor reasonable to ban fundamental religious practices based on them.
Another World Hijab Day story, the Afro-American professor Dr. Larycia Hawkins (Wheaton College also known as ‘Evangelic Harvard’) has quit the college after offered a “golden handshake”. She was suspended last Christmas for deciding to wear Hijab on the belief that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. The students and 20 political scientists (here) supported Ms Hawkins’ freedom of speech rights. However, pro-Israel pastor Franklin Graham publicly supporting Wheaton College management decision to fire Hawkins said: “I can tell you – Islam and Christianity clearly do not worship the same God.”