Brave Nigerian lawyer denied call to bar for wearing hijab gets second chance

Ismail Akwei Jun 22, 2018 at 08:22am

June 22, 2018 at 08:22 am | News

Ismail Akwei

Ismail Akwei | Contributor

June 22, 2018 at 08:22 am | News

Nigerian law school graduate Amasa Firdaus who was denied a call to the bar for allegedly refusing to remove her hijab -- Photo Credit: lawyard.ng

Nigerians have received with great joy the admission into the Nigerian Bar Association of a brave hijabi law graduate who was kicked out of a call to bar ceremony in December 2017 for refusing to remove her hijab.

The graduate of the University of Ilorin, Amasa Firdaus, was denied entry into the hall and denied a call to the bar after insisting on wearing the wig on her hijab despite instructions and plea from the Nigerian Body of Benchers and colleagues respectively.

According to local media reports, Amasa Firdaus has been invited to attend the July 2018 call to bar ceremony for her admission into the Nigerian Bar Association.

This follows a case filed by the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) group which fought for the graduate’s rights, reports the News Agency of Nigeria.

They said in a statement that the Body of Benchers have decided that “Amasa Firdaus can wear a small covering over her hair for the Call to Bar ceremony in July while they deliberate on a generally appropriate dress code”.

There were also series of social media campaigns with the hashtag #JusticeForFirdaus to allow freedom of religion and Muslim lawyers to wear hijab in the profession.

Good morning everyone, I want to use this medium to express my dissatisfaction with the way muslims are treated in this my profession called ‘LAW’. A sister wasn’t called to the bar because she was dressed like that (Picture above) please for God sake what is wrong with that picture? Because she was putting on a small hijab tucked into her collarette, WHY? What has Hijab done to them? Where is our freedom of Religion as stated in the constitution? We need justice…For those that don’t know, Hijab is a MANDATORY part of my religion not just a piece of clothing, so if my freedom of religion is said to have been guaranteed in section 38 of the constitution of my country that is said to be supreme and have have binding force over all as seen in section 1 of this same constitution and Section 42 of this same constitution guarantees my right to freedom from discrimination, please for God sake what is this then and before you come here attack me, please read section 38 (1) and section 1 (1) first and also go ahead to read S1 (3) of this same constitution with an unbiased mind where it is said that if any other law is inconsistent with the provisions of this constitution this constitution shall prevail…B’iko what are we now talking about? Please we want justice. We want our hijab we want #JusticeForFirdaus We want to wear our hijabs for call to bar we want to wear it in the court room. Stop the discrimination We are muslims not terrorists Hijab is Mandatory We want Justice for Firdaus @instablog9ja @officiallindaikeji @lindaikejiblog @soundsultan @iamvjadams @cyberbugzie @omojuwa @daddyfreeze @channelstelevision @aitnews @muslimsconnectnaija

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This victory for Firdaus means other law graduates can wear hijab under their wigs at the Call to Bar ceremonies. But it will take a legal provision to allow Muslim lawyers in Nigeria to wear the hijab in court.

Here are some reactions to Amasa Firdaus’ admission into the Nigerian Bar Association.

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