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Christian Parents, Ifa Priest Protest Against UI School’s Hijab Crisis

The hijab crisis at the University of Ibadan International School took a new twist on Wednesday as Christian , traditional religion and some Muslim pupils ’ parents stormed the office of the Deputy Vice -Chancellor ( Academics ) of the institution , Prof . Adeyinka Aderinto , to register their displeasure against the Muslim Parents Forum.

The forum had been championing the wearing of hijab by female Muslim pupils .
Members of the Muslim Parents Forum had twice in the last 10 days distributed hijab to their female pupils against the school ’ s prescribed dress code.

The Muslim parents had written a letter to the school management and governing board , stating that their female pupils must be allowed to wear hijab on their school uniforms .

The letter was entitled : ‘ Notification of Muslim Parents ’ Resolution on Hijab for our Muslim Girls in ISI ’ .

Their agitation and the attendant threat to peace led to the indefinite shutdown of the school on Monday . Series of meetings , including that of the Parent - Teacher Association , which the Muslim parents attended but left midway following irreconcilable differences with the school management and other stakeholders , could not douse the tension in the ISI .

On Wednesday , many placard - carrying parents , including an Ifa priest and researcher , who is also the father of two pupils in the school , Awosanmi Abe, condemned the approach of the Muslim parents to the issue of hijab .

The protesting parents said wearing of hijab in the 55 -year - old school was capable of dividing the students along religious lines .

Aside Abe, other leaders of the protesters were Olalekan Thani , a lawyer , and Olusola Aleshin .

They argued that the school was an indivisible entity , which no one or group should be allowed to divide for any reason .
The protesters described as dangerous a situation where little children were being made to discriminate against each other along religious , ethnic and other sentiments instead of emerging as global citizens .

In their letter entitled , ‘ Clamour for the introduction of religious emblem for our children in the International School , University of Ibadan ’ , the parents urged the school ’ s board , which is headed by the DVC , to ensure that the rules and regulations guiding the institution , and to which all parents signed to uphold , reigned supreme .

They insisted that the pupils were friends and colleagues as well as their parents , stressing that any attempt by some Muslim parents to divide them should not be allowed to succeed .

Some of the inscriptions on the placards read : ‘ No to religious discrimination in ISI ’ , ‘ Say yes to peaceful co - existence in ISI ’ , ‘ Stop !! Don ’ t divide our children ’ , ‘ No to religious crisis ’ , and ‘ Let our uniform be uniform ’ .

In a letter signed by the trio of Thanni , Abe and Aleshinloye , and addressed to the Vice - Chancellor , UI ; the principal and the PTA Chairman , ISI , the parents said they received the news of the second closure of the school in the space of two weeks with serious pain and trauma .

The parents said , “ We want to use this medium to inform the management that the school is not only populated by the two dominant religions , but also has traditional believers . These groups have vowed to enforce their rights in line with their Muslim counterparts ’ claim to the right to use of their religious emblem in hijab wearing .

“ A scenario in which armlets and Ifa traditional beads are freely used as religious symbols in the school will not be funny . What will then become of the uniformity concept of the uniform when the school environment can be taken as a marketplace of sorts, where a rainbow of apparels is the order of the day ? May the day never come when the ISI becomes the example of what a school environment should not be . ”

They noted that the ISI Muslim Parents Forum’ s position was an attempt to disrupt the academic milieu as well as the atmosphere of love and unity already entrenched among the pupils .

They insisted that the rules and regulations of the school must be binding on all consenting parents and their wards , and that the choice of language and procedure adopted by the Muslim parents in their letter dated November 9 , 2018 to the school principal and copied to the Chairman of the Board of Governors was both derogatory and an usurpation of the powers of the board .

They accused the Muslim parents of attempting to disrupt the school ’ s academic activities as well as the love and unity already existing among the pupils , who do not see religious


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