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24 July 2016

Nigeria’s Muslims applaud lifting of hijab ban in Lagos schools

Nigeria1A leading Muslim group in Nigeria has welcomed a court ruling lifting the ban on girls wearing the headscarf in government schools in Lagos state.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MRC) said the Lagos Court of Appeal’s ruling was a victory for the rule of law.

The judges said the ban violated the religious rights of Muslim girls, overturning a lower court’s ruling.

Girls had been barred from wearing the headscarf, or hijab, because it was not part of school uniforms.

The state government has not yet commented on whether it intends to challenge the ruling at the Supreme Court.

Nigeria’s population is roughly divided between Muslims and Christians, with both groups being staunch believers.

The majority of Muslims live in the north and Christians primarily are in the south – though the southern state of Lagos has a more religious mix.

In June, the High Court in the southern state of Osun also lifted the ban on Muslims girls wearing the headscarf.

It caused religious tension in the state, with some Christian boys insisting on wearing church robes to school.

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