The Oasis Reporters
December 18, 2017
Firdaus Amasa, the Nigeria Law School graduate who was refused her call to bar for failing to remove her hijab, said her defiance was to challenge the status quo.
The incident, which took place at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, has generated intense debate on the internet.
Firdaus, who has been asked by the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) not to speak on the controversial issue said she intentionally wore the hijab in a bid to challenge the status quo.
Asked why she did not wait to be called to bar before embarking on the campaign, she said those who have removed their hijabs in the past did nothing to change the situation.
“There’s no law preventing female Muslim lawyers from wearing hijabs”, adding that the restriction is a mere convention.
“Actually there are no rules preventing us from wearing hijabs. They just call it convention that the British gave to us and we have to stick to it,” Firdaus said further.
“I used them. They complained [during] my first [law] dinner. That is how they do on every campus. You don’t wear hijab for dinner but I did. I chose Abuja because I know they were a little lenient.
“People have been removing their hijab over the years. What have those people who have removed it done?”
For all her troubles, the Nigerian Law School graduate was denied access to the venue of the call to the bar ceremony earlier this week saying her demand remains the need to grant approval for the use of hijab among Muslim law graduates, in a report by Premium Times
Firdaus Amasa, a graduate of the University of Ilorin, had been denied access to the ceremony after insisting on wearing hijab during the ceremony.
Ms. Amasa was specifically refused entry into the hall for insisting to wear the wig on top of her hijab – a headscarf.
The case has attracted significant attention on social media, with Nigerians divided on her decision and that of the authorities of the law school.
Ms. Amasa maintained that she remained resolute in her convictions to set a precedent for Hijab-wearing Muslims during the ceremony.
“My major concern is the approval of Hijab so that every person coming behind me will be able to use it for the call to bar (ceremony). ”
When asked whether she was aware of rules and regulations that guide against the use of Hijab at the ceremony, she said there was none, stressing that it was merely based on conventions.
“There is nothing like that (laws preventing the use of Hijab),”
“When you ask them too, they tell you it is convention; that that is how it is done and it has to remain like that.”
Asked what motivated her to take the decision, she explained that she wanted to change the narrative and give Muslim sisters the rights to express their constitutional rights as enshrined in the constitution.
“I knew that was what was going to happen,” she said of the consequences of her decision. She, however, said she remained resolute in her convictions to speak for the recognition of rights of female Muslim law graduates.
She explained further that the Law School has not said anything on the case, adding that the support from the Muslim community has been impressive.
“My demand is that Hijab should be approved,” she affirmed.
Reports from Premium Times and The Cable.