Kano's women abandon hijab to avoid suspicions

Kano's women abandon hijab to avoid suspicions

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 11:58 am

 Women in northern  Nigeria’s largest city Kano are abandoning their traditional religious dress after a spate of suicide bombings by young girls with explosives under their hijab.

The commercial city was hit last month by four separate attacks involving teenaged girls in the Muslim dress, leaving at least nine people dead and scores more injured.

Although no one has claimed responsibility for the bombings, fingers have been pointed at Boko Haram, the Islamist militants blamed for a string of attacks on the city.

But the bombings (http://staging.thenewsnigeria.com.ng/2014/08/13/female-bombers-new-terror-trend/ )have cast fear and suspicion on young women wearing the loose clothing, prompting many to dress differently.

shopping without hijab in Kano

shopping without hijab in Kano

Just the shawl: Kano women abandon hijab

Just the shawl: Kano women abandon hijab

“I no longer wear my hijab because people now see any young woman in hijab as a potential suicide bomber because of the recent incidents,” said 17-year old Hajara Musa.

“I now put on my shawl (headscarf) when I go out pending the time the city gets over the trauma of this frightening trend,” the fashion design apprentice told AFP.

Musa said she was recently barred from entering a shopping mall while dressed in a hijab, which covers the hair, neck and upper body, despite agreeing to be frisked.

“I was turned away because of my hijab, which I found very disturbing,” she added.

The hijab is a common sight in conservative Kano, an ancient seat of Islamic learning where it has become a convention of modesty for women leaving their homes or meeting men who are not relatives.

Many women wear the hijab with a traditional cloth wrapper that goes past their knees.

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