Islam and Democracy: A Tangency of Fractious Philosophies

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By Mas’ud Segun Adesanya
Yet again, we are witnessing the absurdity of forcing the coexistence of Islam and Democracy, as highlighted by the ongoing controversy stirred by the Nigerian Law School’s impermissibility of hijab in its “Call to Bar” ceremony. Non-Muslims and ignorant Muslims alike, who know little or nothing about Islam, are now posturing as jurists proffering laughable verdicts over when and how the hijab may be worn.
Verdicts and opinions that tacitly discard the religious significance of the hijab, and reduces it to a superfluous piece of cloth, such as, “the hijab should be removed,” “does she sleep with the hijab?” “hijab is not compulsory” e.t.c., are very ridiculous remarks that expose the utter intolerance that smoulders beneath our feigned advocacy for a secular evolution of public pluralism.
This controversy, like many others across the globe, reinforces the argument that, indeed, in intents and purposes, Islam and Democracy are incompatible. Either of the two MUST suffer in the event of coexistence.
Having said this, I like to say, to the extent that the rule of the “Law School” had been in existence long before now, which removes any form of arbitrariness in its application in this matter, the attempt to provoke a change/review thereof should not have been made through confrontation and violation.
Given that a rule/law is publicly known to exist, a perceived element of infringement in such rule/law should be challenged even when there are no real or active cases of such infringement. In other words, why such rule remains extant in the “Law School” despite the numerous number of Muslim lawyers who have gone through the same system is a matter of civil concern.
Beard is supposed to be cherished by the Muslim. The Nigerian Military Service does not permit its officers to keep beards…..should the Military Service bend this rule to accommodate the exclusive preference of the Muslim? Should the Muslim remove his beard for access into the Military Service?
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