The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has accused the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) of instigating the clash between Christians and Muslims in Kwara state.
Violence broke out between adherents of both religions in Ilorin, the state capital, on Wednesday after the state government reopened some schools it had shut down over controversy on hijab.
The chaos ensued after Christian officials of the Baptist School situated in the Surulere area of Ilorin were said to have disallowed girls in hijab from gaining access into the school.
Reacting in a statement on Thursday, MURIC alleged that CAN asked its members to occupy the school.
It said two courts in the state had ordered that female Muslim students be allowed to use the hijab, and asked why CAN will not heed the court ruling.
“CAN is to blame for all these. CAN was the one that called on its members to occupy that school. Fortunately the ugly scene only played out in one out of ten schools. But it is a big shame that in 21st century Kwara, CAN is turning its members against democratic norms, against the rule of law,” he said.
“Both the Ilorin High Court and the Court of Appeal have ruled in favour of hijab. It is therefore illegal, illegitimate, unlawful and unconstitutional for CAN to insist that its members should not obey the courts and that the schools should not allow female Muslim students to use the hijab or even enter the school premises. It is the height of lawlessness.
“We assert that CAN should be held responsible for whatever happens in those schools.”
MURIC warned the state government “against compromising its authority over this issue”.
It called on stakeholders to prevail on CAN while warning that an attempt by any group to flout the court order will be an invitation to chaos.
“We invite all right-thinking Nigerians to take a critical look at the game playing out in Kwara State. It is a well-known fact in modern society that any group that flouts court pronouncement is inviting chaos. This is exactly what CAN is doing in Kwara State. We therefore call on stakeholders to call CAN to order,” it said.
“Any attempt by KWSG to spoon-feed CAN or to sweep the right of the Muslim girl-child to wear hijab under the carpet will be resisted by the Muslim community. The law is on our side. On hijab we stand. There will be no retreat, no surrender.”