Justice Maraga

Kenya:Muslims leaders and parents united against Supreme Court’s ruling on hijab

By Samuel Ouma |@journalist_27

Justice Maraga
Justice Maraga

A section of  leaders and parents allied to Muslim religion have taken a swipe at the Supreme Court over the decision to burn students from wearing hijabs in non-Muslim schools.

On Thursday, January 26, Supreme Court Judges led by Chief Justice David Maraga overturned a Court of Appeal ruling that had allow Muslims students to put on gears that cover their head in whichever school they attend.

The judges reiterated that the decision made by the Appellate Court goes against school uniform policy which gives schools freedom to come up with their rules and regulations.

In 2015, St. Paul’s Kiwanjani Secondary School sponsored by Methodist Church of Kenya in Isiolo County suspended students for wearing the head covering worn by Muslim women.

The student’s parents protested the school’s decision by going to High Court which ruled in favour of the school. They later appealed the ruling and they won the case. The three judge bench said students should be allowed to wear religious items of cloth and added that students deserved to obey their religious requirements in accordance with their constitutional rights.

The battle did not end there, Methodist Church went to Supreme Court and lodged a complaint that allowing Muslims girls to wear hijabs is creating differences among the students.

On Friday, after the ruling, Parents defied the Court order and arrived at the school with their daughters putting on the gear that covers their heads. They faulted the Court over the ruling saying it would affect all schools.

“This school does not belong to any religion. The Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed and her predecessor Fred Matiang’i know it is a public school. Where is the church coming into this case?” asked one of the parents.

Some vowed to withdraw their daughters from the school if a pending appeal is rejected.

The ruling did not go well with Muslim political leaders too. National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale has appealed to Muslims across the country to dismiss the verdict. Duale condemned the Judges for not taking into consideration right to worship in the constitution.

“Who are Supreme Court judges to order on hijabs? They should be aware that they are creation of the constitution that has also given every Kenyan right to worship, we Muslims will continue to have our children in schools with hijabs,” said Duale.

Isiolo women representative Rehema Dida said, “We are ready to seek for justice in any court including even the international courts.”

“There is no way in the world, a right once given cannot be taken away,” reiterated Sophia Abdi Noor, Ijara legislator.

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