By ABIDEEN, Muhammed Ayomide
“Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak good things or keep silent. Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should be courteous and generous to his neighbor” (Hadith)
Dear Femi Fani Kayode Esq, I woke up today to see your disturbing and disgusting comment to the ongoing Hijab controversy on your twitter handle though I was not too surprised neither was I baffled. It is not today that Ayo Fayose Esq and yourself started displaying publicly your hatred towards Islam and those that adhere to its teaching strictly. But what is more disturbing is those revered positions you held in our country yet lacking common sense on sensitive cases like this. I must say that I appreciate all your “Comedy for Melody show” in conjunction with Ayo Fayose Esq since the beginning of All Progressive Congress (APC) led administration but on this Hijab case you have gone beyond your boundary!
I would have loved to write a rejoinder in order to clear some misconceptions and as well send a steer warming to others who may want to write another balderdash on the bone of contention but I know without an iota of doubt that Professor Akintola, my mentor, will fire back or others. For clarity of concept, Nigeria is not a secular state as you opined. Our country is a multi-religious one with Muslims being the majority yet treated as second class citizens due to intolerance. Amasa Firdaus is not also being childish but a courageous one like Moremi who stood firmly on justice. She is the only one is not a big deal, change will surely start from a person. She can be the one to liberate our Law system from Islamophobia and she will.
According to your wikipedia profile, you are a Nigerian politician, essayist, poet and lawyer. You were the Special Assistant (Public Affairs) to President Olusegun Obasanjo from July 2003 until June 2006. Also, the Minister of Culture and Tourism of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from 22 June to 7 November 2006 and as the Minister of Aviation from 7 November 2006 to 29 May 2007. You are also from my state, Osun.
Surprisingly, all these experiences did not make you a just and sincere citizen, why? OK, I know. You are definitely religious and political bias, a disease that is not easily cured, that, if it has a way out!
You reacted to issue you have little or no knowledge about. You see, Islam is not understood by mere google answers or self affiliation because I saw Abdul Lateef in your name, this is nothing but a prank. Let me iterate what you know not about Hijab in Islam. It is a compulsory, unquestionable and a mandatory veil prescribed by our Lord in order to safeguard our female folks from wicked men who may want to molest them. Removing such veil outside the home is violation of injunction for whatsoever reason even for one micro second. Moreover there exist no law in our constitution prohibiting the use of Hijab in Public Institutions. So why the intolerance attitudes from your cohorts?
Your response succeeded in exposing your ignorance and hatred more for Hijab rather than appealing to our reasons. You called yourself human right activists and a lawyer yet you are in total support of an aberration of the constitution, section 38 in particular. The response also shy away from the truth, you said what you think people want to hear using your influence, nay, you fail woefully. Gone are those days that anyone can infringe on our rights and go scot free. Now, the Muslims are ever ready to fire back! If truly we want peace in Nigeria, sincere and active religious tolerance must be included in our curriculum.
No discerning man will dare compare Hijab to any other religious attires. Hijab has always been known as a compulsory dressing for females in our religion. It is not and can never be same with Sutana in all respect. It is not enough for us to start shouting “Religious Tolerance” on the pages of Newspapers or in conferences without taking action towards it. As long as I want Nigeria to unite, I will not fold my arms while people say what they like about my religion. Islam is peace!
It suffices here to remind you the words of the second Orthodox leader of the Muslims, Umar: “The one who speaks a lot commits a lot of mistakes. The one who makes lots of mistakes commits lots of sins. The one who commits lots of sins will have the Hell-fire”. To borrow the word of our brethren out there too, “Silence is golden” especially when you will not say the truth.
I have written this not out of hatred but for the love of humanity and peaceful coexistence in our nation. Mr Femi Fani Kayode, my sincere advises for you and others are: Do not allow anything to becloud your sense of reasoning. Do not give room for enemy of peace between Muslims and Christians in Nigeria and do not let your word deviate from your actions and God is our witness.
Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous towards them and acting justly towards them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.(Quran 60:8)