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TERRORISM: PRESIDENCY DENIES HIJAB BAN

The Presidency has denied that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was considering banning the hijab, the Muslim women’s dressing symbol of modesty if sui­cide bombers continue use it as cover to commit atrocities.

President Buhari had during his maiden media chat last year, hint­ed that his government may ban the use of hijab by muslim women as a result of the use of female suicide bombers by Boko Haram insurgents.

Hijab would have to be banned if suicide bombing continues,” he had responded to a question posed by one of the panelist.

Hijab is a veil that covers the head and chest, which is particularly worn by some Muslim woman beyond the age of puberty in the presence of adult males outside of their immedi­ate family and, according to some in­terpretations, in the presence of adult non-Muslim females outside of their immediate family.

In a statement to clarify what the President meant, the Senior Spe­cial Assistant on Media and Public­ity, Garba Shehu, called the report “insinuations and rumours”.
According to Shehu, the specula­tions are unfounded, stressing that the Buhari administration “would always respect the rights of Muslims to pro­tect their modesty and allow religious freedom as it affects everyone”.
The Presidential media aide, while admitting that “the hijab is be­ing abused by terrorists to carry out suicide attacks on innocent people, which violates the teachings of Is­lam”, said the President would not take any decision on the issue without due consultation with all the stake­holders.
“Everything will be done to balance national security requirements with the rights and obligations of citizens under their religions as protected by the constitution,” the statement said.
According to him, “the increas­ing abuse of the hijab by terrorists to perpetrate criminal mass murder and other atrocities is a reality, and that the government would address the se­curity challenge in consultations with Muslim leaders with a view to finding a workable solution”.