By Salahudeen Quadri You can’t be dressed in a conservative…
By Hussaina Sufyan Ahmed
Art is a craft and a profession where different talents display their worth. Poetry, story writing, story telling, myths, legendary tales, drawing, moulding, singing, dancing, etc, are all works of art.
In the world of art, there is what’s called “Poetic license”, this is a concept whereby an artist is given the freedom to impose and use his choice of words and materials, however in situations whereby there will be a threat to the work by the government or the authority, the artist may decide to make use of some literary devices like symbolism, metaphor, personification, simile, synecdoche, satire, allegory, etc. No wonder, some writers make use of fictitious towns and animals in their works? It is for safety purpose.
Now, in a democratic country, in as much as there are rules to which an artist can be sanctioned, there still exist freedom of expression and choice of actions except if they go against the loyalty of the country. Nigeria, as a country practices democracy, where the government is of the people, by the people and for the people – the government only have to sanction an action which is against a particular set of people or particular set of locality if the work of art causes any psychological damage or physical stain.
Again, in Nigeria, religion over time have become more or less a tag for escaping crimes and foul-mouthing, where if a person does wrong, the person is judged by his or her religion and not by his or her actions. In Nigeria, religion is only a means for escape from the nomenclature of “badness”. Nigerians have become so touched that mosques and churches have also become arenas for campaign. Do you wonder why in religious places, the preachers go as far as giving choices on who to elect? Do you wonder what it means for preachers to give clues on the ways to relate with the one who isn’t of your religion? Isn’t the religion arena for preaching goodness and maintaining good human relations? Well, Nigeria is politically inclined.
In Nigeria today, anything that isn’t sexually manned or politically gained isn’t regarded as important. The hijab is a symbol of dignity for the Muslim woman yet ask some Muslims today and they will tell you that, the hijab is used by some to commit atrocities. Is this suppose to be a bone of contention? Is this suppose to be a reason not to put on the hijab?
In the video, ” This is Nigeria”, Falz the bahd guy, displayed art and used symbols to signify the art. I see the ladies in hijab dancing shaku shaku as a prototype of the females who at a point in places like Kaduna, kano and Maiduguri were the means for bomb last. “Shaku shaku” is done in a way that your two hands will be together and the right hand will go to the war and target and the air. But then, isn’t that a description of how a gun is held? Isn’t that a description of the violence girls were led into at that point in Nigeria?
Then, again, he was barechested and in the middle of the girls. Nowadays, shirtless men are regarded as sexually attractive if they have six packs. That does not seem like a part of sexually disturbing the girls in hijab, it was a form of creativity to deal with the sexual society we have found ourselves in, remember my earlier explanation on the sexually manned Nigeria?
Hence, the video is abusive to we Muslim women because what we understand hijab to be is to cover our body and show our level of modesty. But then again, what about the sisters who wear hijab but their legs are visible inside the hijab in campuses and markets? Or sisters who go to Gamji park in Kaduna and take codeine alone with shisha?
In essence, my submission is this: just as every other concept in islam is always debatable by non-Muslims and some Muslims, we who know what the concepts represent e.g., Hijab, let us not relent, let us not give up, let us keep striving and be focused. In a country where if you seek to know more about an abuse to the hijab, the same Muslims will come back to bash you with savage comments, what do you expect will happen? Or in this country where the government don’t even pay attention to killing at villages of Zamfara for it might not have a political gain?
Hijab is and will ever be the prototype for dignity. Whether it is represented in girls who are brainwashed to commit suicide bomb blast, or it is used a symbol to dance, or it is used as an outcast in the law department. What we know and should uphold to is that no matter what it is represented as, we are the Hijabites and we will continue to dress decently in the best manner of representing the hijab and Islam.
So, dear sisters who adorn the hijab judiciously, don’t give up. Allah is the strength of Islam. What the society portray it to be is not.