Two students are seen attending a class in the Adamawa state capital, Yola, in Nigeria, May 8, 2015. (Photo by AFP)
An appeals court in Nigeria has ruled against a ban on Nigerian Muslim girls to wear the headscarf to schools in the southwestern state of Lagos.
The appeals court in Lagos overturned an earlier ruling in 2013 that had banned the right to hijab in government schools in the state.
The new ruling “has restored hope in the judiciary,” said Ishaq Akintola, the director of the Muslim Rights Concern group.
Also, in the southwestern state of Osun, the High Court ruled last month that any harassment of girls exercising their choice of hijab constituted an infringement on their rights.
Nigeria has an estimated population of about 170 million people and is almost equally divided between a mainly-Muslim north and a predominantly-Christian south.
Secretary-General Ishaq Oloyede of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs in Nigeria has suggested that the anti-hijab campaign in some parts of the country’s Christian-dominated areas is an effort by religious extremists to force Muslim girls into an unacceptable choice between schooling and religion.
This screengrab, taken on May 12, 2014, from a video of Nigerian extremist group Boko Haram, shows schoolgirls abducted and held by the group in an undisclosed location. (Via AFP)
Attempts have been made previously in Nigeria to dissuade Muslim girls from seeking education.
On April 14, 2014, Takfiri Boko Haram terrorists kidnapped 276 girls from their secondary school in the northeastern town of Chibok in Borno. Fifty-seven of the girls managed to escape afterwards, but the fate of the remaining others is still largely unknown.
The extremist group has pledged allegiance to Daesh, which is operating mainly in Syria and Iraq.

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