Int’l Womens Day: Group Partners Media Practitioners On Women Issues

By Nofisat Marindoti

A foremost women body in Nigeria, Al-Mu’minaat (The Believing Women) Organisation has formed a collaboration with media Organisations to ensure issues concerning women folks enjoy media prominence.

This is with a view to pushing such issues to the front burner of national discourse via adequate reportage and proper analyses of women affairs.

Speaking at a media seminar organised by the Professionals, an organ of Al Mu’minaat, a senior correspondent at The Nation newspaper, Tajudeen Adebanjo urged women to be more involved in non Governmental Organisations and human right activities to achieve their aims.

“You must carve a niche for yourselves and become a points of reference whenever issues of public concerns regarding women and in fact, general populace are brought to the broadcast medium for discuss.

“I also urge you (women) to brace up to fight your cause by making use of social media strength to present your grievances on issues by simply commenting on Facebook, Twitter handle or even the WhatsApp. It is high time you stopped expecting men to fight your cause for you.”

Adebanjo cited the issue of Firdaus Amasa as an infringement on the human rights of women but which did not enjoy women’s massive support because of religious bigotry and sectionalism.

“It could happen to your younger ones or your daughter’s who want to read Law in Nigeria in the future. So, why don’t you be passionate and speak up for these rights,” he said.

In his address, a seasoned journalist an a prominent writer, Elder Yinka Salaam called on women organisations to invest in the media to push their cause and pursue their cases to achieve their goals.

He said it was high time they corrected the erroneous belief that investing in the Media and Public Relations is a waste or an unworthy venture.

Salaam said the Media or Public Relations may not give immediate cash, but, it has the potentials to mobilise and win the people’s hearts and their wealth eventually.

“It is in recognition of power of the media that real politicians, big corporations and organizations, profitable or charitable, invest heavily in the media and will continue to, even when they run at loss,

“What better wealth can an organisation possess than the human resources? It is the same reason government, politicians and multinational companies invest heavily in the media and the same reason enjoy better media coverage and media mention today. We are all living witnesses that it really pays off for them,”” he stated.

The guest speaker appealed to the leaders of the various organizations, especially religious groups like Al Mu’minaat to take a paradigm shift from traditional preachings on morality and begin to give priority to less expensive but useful public or social services as: traffic control, portholes filling, clearing of highway bushes to allow road users see ahead, clearly, drainage clearing, facilitation/donation of wells or boreholes, construction of directional signposts, running extra-mural classes/adult literacy cum Quranic centres, regular visitation to hospitals, prison yards, and orphanage homes, media tour among others.

The Coordinator of The Professionals, Alhaja Jelilat Abdul-Hamed also noted that the entire life of Prophet Muhammad and his relationship with people was characterised by effective personal and public relations and his use of media was unrivalled.

“The rise of Islam came through conveying the message via the contemporary medium available. The life and times of the our Prophet portrays how the people of Makkah were invited to Islam by moral and pious conducts of the Prophet and his rightly guided followers.

“The melodious and inspiring recitation of the Qur’an also changed the hearts of even the fiercest opponents as many mediums were used to make the non-believers aware of the truth of the divine message. The Prophet (SAW) also sent men on horsebark to the rulers and kings of the neighbouring lands with scripts declaring his prophethood and inviting them to Islam.”

The Coordinator who remarked that Prophet Muhammad set a standard in Public Relations and the effective use of the media, stressed that until Muslims follow the prophetic footsteps in his best PR ever known and cultivate the habit of effective media management, it would be difficult for them to achieve their Daw’ah objectives.

Islamic Group Kicks Against Ordering Female Muslims To Take Off Hijab Publicly

The Islamic women organisation in Al Muminaat, has said that telling a female Muslim to take off her hijab in the public is not only an insult to the Muslim but a war on the religion.

The leader of Al Muminaat, Hajia Nimatullah Abdulquadri disclosed this in her address to newsmen at a press conference in commemoration of the World Hijab Day in Jibowu, Lagos.

Abdulquadri decries the infringement of the right of female Muslims provided by the United Nations.

She, however, commended the House of Representatives for looking into the Firdaus Amasa issue,

She also encouraged Muslim women who are going through persecution because of their use of hijab to remain calm as justice is on the way.

Abdulquadri said: “It is really saddening to observe that, despite the clear provisions of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly which provides for the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, Muslim women are still being subjected to a lot of persecution, ridicule, oppression and injustice because of their religion.

“World Hijab Day is an annual event founded by Nazma Khan in 2013. This event takes place on February 1st each year in about 100 countries worldwide. It was born out of the challenges that the Muslim woman face such as discrimination and harassment, due to the observance of her faith. From the continuous denial of the right to wear hijab to school by girls; to the insistence of institutions that the ears of Hijabis be exposed during data capture; to Amasa Firdaus denial of being called to bar.

“It is commendable that the House of Representatives has decided to wade into the Firdaus Amasa issue, we must say that they should not only ensure she gets justice, but be compensated for the trauma she went through.

“Fidaus Amasa has actually made it abundantly clear that the Nigerian nation is not serious about the Girl-child education and giving equal opportunity to all citizens. It is telling us that education is not to get those who chose to be Muslims and express their being so.

“This isn’t a hidden agenda, but an open one for those who want to see, or else why would a Muslim lady in the Hijab who has gone through the rigours of the university, the Nigerian law school and has excelled in character and knowledge be denied her rights to be called to the Nigerian bar. Incidences of discriminations, denials, persecutions, profiling, harassments abound even in public institutions. Institutions powered by our taxes!

“These must stop forthwith. After all, in the Nigerian constitution as we have it today still recognizes and protect religions and religious practices and expressions. Hijab is a religious duty enjoined upon the Muslim woman by God.

“In Quran 24:31 Allah says ‘And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty, that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (may ordinarily) appear thereof, that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty…’ ”

“It is a religious duty and an obligation on every Muslim woman in the observance of her faith. And this right to believe and practice ones chosen faith is an inalienable right of every human being, is entrench in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999( as amended) “Sec38.

“(1) Every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom (either alone or in community with others, and in public or in private) to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

“(2) No person attending any place of education shall be required to receive religious instruction or to take part in or attend any religious ceremony or observance if such instruction ceremony or observance relates to a religion other than his own, or religion not approved by his parent or guardian.

“To wear the Hijab by the Muslim woman is the practical application of these constitutional provisions. A sure way to call to anarchy is to jettison the provisions of the law. Our 2018 theme is My Hijab, My Right.”