Header Ads


BY: Juma Hemedi

Today morning my friend called me to follow up on a matter we had been discussing about two weeks ago. But he was also calling me because he was worried. His worry was that a young girl known to him was on the verge of missing out on taking up her form one position in a school in Kiambu County.

Reason, she wears the Akorino turban. My friend told me that this was the fourth case they were dealing with in the past one week. That schools in Kenya in the 21st century, in a country that prides itself with diversity of communities, languages, cultures and religions can discriminate and fail to admit students because of their religious beliefs is not only sickening but threatens the very foundation and pillars that have held this country together for decades.

What is wrong with a Sikh man wearing a Turban or a Sikh woman wearing a Chunni?. What is wrong with a Muslim girl wearing a Hijab or the Akorino wearing their Turban? Why is it that those holding positions of principles in various primary and secondary schools feel the need to want to make students not only beg for admission but also torment their religious beliefs?

What was the whole purpose of enshrining the fundamental rights of an individuals right to religion, association and education? What is the need to pride ourselves as a country of diversity and one that has a progressive constitution and preaching tolerance while allowing overzealous school administrators to not only demean other people religious practice but also threaten the very right for which the student has come to the school to seek.

Why do we allow ourselves to treat others this way just because we are holding temporary positions? Indeed the Bible is on point about tolerance. The Holy Quran has an entire chapter about tolerance and allowing others to practice their religion. Asking a student to remove her hijab or turban is not only wrong but is a mockery to her religion and her faith. All this so that one would show who is boss in the school.

I know this matter of especially hijab found its way in the Kenyan courts and the court pronounced itself. While the matter was only about whether Muslim students schooling in non Muslim school should be allowed to wear Hijab, there was very little support at that time from our Akorino brothers and the Sikh community. But little by little it is affecting them too and we need to stand up for them and say NO to these school administrators.

It is very unlikely that one would find an Akorino only school or a Muslim only secondary school in Kenya. The Akorinos may be Christians but they are a minority so are Muslims in this country and the rights of the minority should not only be respected but also protected.

Juma Hemedi

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.