Law school classmates of the lady who refused to take off hijab during call to bar ceremony, speak to Pulse.
Firdaus who graduated from the University of Ilorin with a second class upper degree, relayed how she refused to take off her hijab which is a piece of clothing worn by Muslim women.
Her decision meant she was denied entry into the International Conference Center, Abuja, where the ‘call to bar’ ceremony was held.
The implication is that Firdaus would have to wait to be certified as a practising lawyer in Nigeria because she wore a hijab.
Some have interpreted the incident as an infringement on her religious rights as enshrined in the nation’s constitution.
Pulse has been speaking to Firdaus' law school classmates. Some craved anonymity for this story because of the sensitivity of the subject and for fear of incurring the wrath of the Islamic authorities.
These are their responses...
Well, I feel she should have raised concerns about it during dinners in law school. I feel she should have done something about it earlier on while they were preparing us for call in our different campuses. The timing seems not cool at all, she knew all about the hijab thing before call so why has she been complying before and then suddenly decided it was during call she wanted to make a 'scene'? But then that's just my opinion.
Though Hijab is part of a Muslim sister's dressing, I feel that she should have been wise about it sha...
Law was made for man and not man for the law. However, disregard for laid down principles of practice will only lead us into a state of anarchy.
The Law profession is an old one with its own principles, rules and regulations. Aspirants and members are required to adhere strictly to these rules.
I do not consider the refusal to call the lady in question a breach of her fundamental rights as she gave up that right when she chose to aspire to join the bar. Her actions constitute a flagrant disregard for laid down professional principles and constituted authority.
It doesn't matter what she set out to achieve, the point is she was wrong in her approach and fell short of the condition precedent to her call.
I feel the action she took was uncalled for. Two wrongs never make a right.
Well, I think the major issue is with understanding rules and complying with rules. Truth be told, the rule is not targeted at any religion as some folks have seem to put it. In the real sense, every adherent to any religious or cultural belief has had to make an adjustment for the purpose of being called to bar.
Assuming that Firdaus wanted to challenge the status quo, she could have written to the body of benchers about the rule before the call. The attempt to cause a friction at the time of entry to the call isn't only a disgraceful act, it is an act that shows she isn't fit and proper to be called to the bar.
However, the truth be told, it is not about any religion and I hope in the future, we must always learn to separate emotions from facts.
It's a right battle waged at the wrong time. Only God, not even the media support can help her. Our profession is something.
What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.. If it's indeed established that it's a law for hijab not to be allowed, then it shouldn't be.. But if it's made flexible then Christian fanatics should also be given similar leverage and allowance.