THE struggle over the usage of hijab (veil for Muslim ladies) in public schools has led to the closure of public schools in Iwo Local Government Area of Osun State.
The quest to implement the usage of hijab created crisis in the town, as some Muslim groups insisted that all Muslim ladies should be allowed to use hijab, irrespective of the school they were attending.
The problem started last year, when a female student of Methodist Grammar School, Iwo, wore hijab to school.
The student was said to have been beaten by her teacher, while she, in turn, mobilised her brothers to waylay the teacher and beat her.
Muslim Fellowship Students were said to have championed the demand for female Muslim students to use hijab.
The agitation for the use of the hijab got to a climax on Monday, when a female student of Baptist High School, Iwo, was arrested by the police on the orders of the school authorities for wearing hijab to school.
The action of the school authorities was said to have angered Muslim organisations in the town, who waded into the matter and demanded the release of the student.
This is just as they mobilised students in the town, on Tuesday, to insist on allowing Muslim girls to use hijab, irrespective of the school they attended.
The protest was said to have received the support of the leader of Jamat Tahawum, known as Alfa Dawud, who led the students on a protest which took them from one school to the other, starting from Local Authority Grammar School to Saint Anthony Grammar School; Methodist Grammar School and Iwo Grammar School.
The protest forced the school authorities to close down the schools, while the students were sent home.
Reacting to the development, through a statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Sunday Akere, the state government said it decided to close down all the public schools in the council to prevent a breakdown of law and order.
The statement said the state was noted for peace and the state government would not allow any religious bigot to turn it into a place of religious intolerance.