Hijab Controversy: Nigerian Law Graduate Denied Call To Bar For Breaking Dress Code

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Hijab Controversy: Nigerian Law Graduate Denied Call To Bar For Breaking Dress Code

A Nigerian law school graduate was on December 12, denied her call to the bar after she insisted on wearing a hijab (headscarf) during the ceremony.

It was gathered that Ms. Amasa Firdaus Abdulsalam, who graduated from the University of Ilorin, was denied entry into the hall by the Body of Benchers at a ceremony which took place at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

She had refused to remove her hijab, insisting on wearing the wig over the veil, which is said to violate the dress code set by the law school.

While the Nigerian Law School accused her of breaking the dress code set by the institution, Firdausi called the refusal of the School to call her to the bar a violation of her right to freedom of religion as protected by Section 38 of the 1999 Constitution.

The case has since attracted a significant attention and ignited a debate on social media with scores of Nigerian netizens divided on her decision and that of the authorities of the law school.

Ms. Amasa Firdaus Abdulsalam reacts:

Ms. Firdaus, the affected law graduate, has 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),” she told Premium Times on Saturday.

“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.”

“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.

“My demand is that Hijab should be approved,” she affirmed.

AB Mahmoud, the president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) speaks on the matter:

The President of Nigerian Bar Association A.B. Mahmoud assured Nigerians that the association would look into the situation.

“UK based Nigerian lawyer recognized for promoting diversity in the legal profession,” Mahmoud tweeted, posting a photo of Olufunke Abimbola, who was recently recognised by Queen Elizabeth II for her contributions to promoting diversity in the legal profession.

“The NBA will embrace diversity and tolerance in the Nigerian legal profession,” Mahmoud continued, adding that “the Hijab issue will be addressed.”

He also tweeted a photo of his daughter Zubaida, who also wears a hijab, being admitted to the New York Bar earlier this year.

The case has taken the front seat on the internet amid outrage on social media, with the hashtag #JusticeforFirdaus being used.

What Nigerians are saying on social media:



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