Muslim Hijab sparks controversy in Mangochi: Malawi govt, community tussle, school closed

A fight has ensued between government and communities in the area of Traditional Authority Namwera in the Muslim district of Mangochi following the decision by the State to close down a primary school to enforce learners not to wear Hijab during school days.

Woman wearing a Hijab :

Woman wearing a Hijab 

Meanwhile, communities, through Chidothi and Company lawyers, have obtained a court injunction overturning government’s decision.

Government this week decided to close down Mama Khadija primary school after communities disputed the decision to stop Muslim pupils wearing Hijab during school days.

An attempt by government to enforce the decision on communities met a strong resistance in an area dominated by Muslims who hold their religion with high regards, leaving the school authorities and the State with no option but to temporarily shut down the learning institution.

However, on Wednesday the communities through their lawyers obtained an injunction at the High Court in Zomba to allow the school to be reopened.

Nyasa Times’ efforts to speak to Ministry of Education officials were fruitless as the issue was pushed on from one office to the other.

Mangochi is highly dominated by Muslims and there have been series of controversies and riots bordering on religious conflicts.

The people in the district are accusing the government of Islamophobic attacks.

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29 thoughts on “Muslim Hijab sparks controversy in Mangochi: Malawi govt, community tussle, school closed”

  1. santana says:

    Let us face the reality. When it comes to dressing of respect muslims are ahead of any society in the world. It is not just a religious issue rather it has something to do with respect of women. It is not supposed to be just a gear for muslim women, but it should honourably apply to my mother and everybody’s mother as well as respect is concerned. Some people may back the banning of this school on religious grounds just because this beautiful attire might be a threat to other religions which have totally lost respect because of the dressing in church. A Catholic is known for his rosary on the neck, a nun can not be mistaken for an Anglican woman. Virgin Mary is easily recognized by her attire. What is wrong with these girls wearing what respect and their religion demand? Is this not an Islamic girls school? Is this a catholic school? Are the authorities forcing girls of other religions to put on hijab? Why all this noise? It is their choice of attire, why should people other other religions feel uneasy with it? Recently a Christian school lost a court case in Kenya where it wanted to ban moslem girls fro wearing hijab. This move is originated by the detractors of Islam, but this is not good. The girls are respecting their bodies contrally to what other church goers do with their exposed nakedness.

    1. abraz do you know the reason why in almost all the schools around the world students wear uniforms? and do you also know that a school is a public place if not regulated there may be chaos? i still do not understand why we still have people who sold their common sense to their feelings and emotions like you, grow the bull balls and accept the realities, what if the Rastas say they would also want their kids go to school with dreadlocks, how about devil worshipers to go with human blood in bottles for afternoon rituals? grow up boy!

  2. International says:

    If the school is owned by Muslims then let them wear their terrorist hijab gear but if it is owned by govt or Christians no to terrorist wear, no to Boko Haram dress, no to ISIS costume, no to Al-Quaeda mask, no to terrorism

  3. Donald Trump says:

    ISIS is here.
    When I being president, I will destroy it within 30 days of my swearing in.

  4. shredder says:

    Kodi hijab yavutayo ya mpango kapena ya ninja……….koma ya ninja yokha amaonjeza….tikumakuonanitu kuti nde chani kodi kuvala kumeneku chonsecho amuna anu chibwenzi Chao sichivala mpango

  5. Thundila says:

    Why are Muslims a thorn in people’s flesh everywhere. This group of people think people should always follow their opinion or what they believe in, why!!!!!!!??????. Why cant they learn from other religions. I even wonder why government did not arrst them when they declared Mangochi an islamic state yet they have arrested Wandale. Their head scalf thing covers people’s heads and cannot be allowed in primary schools. Government don’t dance to the tune of terrorism sponsoring religions

  6. HOPE says:

    Chiwachimo,where is freedom of religion in Arab and Islamic nations you fool? Christians are not free to pray in their Churches if there is freedom.Christian women are not allowed to put on their head scarfs.What do they think they are to impose their religious cultures on us? In short,these people are killers that’s what their religion tells them to do.Look at Syria,Irag,Iran the whole of the Middle East people cross rivers of blood.We must not treat these Muslims with gloves in our hands,but use formidable fists to defend our selves and we must not allow evil Arabs in our country who are treating Africans like wild animals in their countries.Africans wakeup,these are the people who brutally enslaved us some centuries ago and impose their dirty religion in some parts of Africa.People of Mangochi,send your kids to school to gain knowledge for their bright future,Madarasas will never get them anywhere,apart from Islamic indoctrination.

  7. Charly says:

    Kodi why does the world have a priblem with hijab and no problem with the stupid mbuzi hair wigs that are worn on the laidies head?

  8. SAYING hijabu is not islamic teaching is nothing but ones madness. like it or not islam will remain islam of course some rascals are commeting that mangochi is not islamic district. people learn to accept things based on what on the ground.

  9. Issa says:

    mphwache wa bingu don’t show your ignorance here. Read the Quran before you write your stupid comments. If the bible talks about women covering their heads what more the Quran. Hijab is not traditional wear for Arabs, do you even know the meaning of Hijab? Romanians cover their heads, Nuns cover their heads are they Arabs. Read 1 Corinthians 11 v 6.

    1. Issa remember we are talking of a primary school here(public place) not a mosque or a church, zanuzo muzikapangira mmalo anu opempherera osati mmalo omwe ali ndi malamulo ake, kodi umbuli chani?

  10. Kamampheska Kamilaza says:

    Azilamu onse anyongedwe. Anthu amenewa ngaupandu, osamva, andeu, akuba, onyenga, afiti, masatana. Nanga hijab ikhale nkhani yomenyana ndi boma? eeiiish!

  11. Sowazi says:

    I guess with Hijabs these Chiboko girls learn better, solve Mathematics better, etc.

  12. kingston bumushark myomyomyo says:

    Mind your writting mr reporter, WE DO NOT HAVE A MUSLIM DISTRICT IN MALAWI, there is nothing like that, you can even be suprised to find alot of christians in the same district

  13. Charlie Hebdo says:

    What’s the fuss about dressing..let people dress the way they want. So which dressing is better? None..so allow whichever dressing one feel is alright. It is not traditional for Malawi to use the dress or trouser…These are western. Hijab is eastern. Just just leave this code of dressing alone. We want peace and not a religious war!!!

  14. dexter says:

    palibe vuto kuwaletsako, ofunika ndi maphunizro osati hijab

  15. Daudi says:

    African Govts operating with imported policies, the same govts can promote guy rights. and deny the right to dress. Who doesn’t know this school was established by Muslim donors who follow islamic Principles. Malawins let us stop arguing simple issues leaving serious ones. I am residing in RSA-my son is attending a govt school where the majority are Muslims. Monday the 11 September all Muslims are celebrating eid and this school will not have classes just to give a chance to Muslim students. I don’t c any reason why Malawi govt is closing mama khadija primary school.

  16. mphwache wa bingu says:

    Wise up Mangochi communities. Hijab will not change your lives for the better but giving your girls a chance to learn will go a long way towards uplifting the communties livelihoods .Hijab is a traditionalw ear for Arabs so don’t waste time promoting it. It has nothing to do with religion.

    1. RASHID MAWIRA says:

      you shut up , hijab is not traditional wear for arabs its an religious wear. Mind you, we have freedom of to follow our religion. Who stop you to put your colonas on your neck ????

      1. Andrea says:

        Its tradition not religion… Or does your religion pulling down the rights of women by telling them what clothes to wear?!

    2. if you say it has nothing to do with religion, are speculating based on your day dreaming or you are saying based on empirical analysis? wise up you people its high time malawians failed to reasons

    3. Mirella K says:

      Sounds a bit silly reasoning, no?

  17. Chiwachimo says:

    Do we really have freedom of religion in this country?

  18. Mapwevupwevu says:

    Iwe chi reporter Mangochi is not a moslem district, there are just as many christians as moslems in the district.

    If these pipo are allowed to do as they please adzayambitsa mavuto osaneneka.

    On the hand this Mama Khadija school seems like it is run by moslems so the hijab should be allowed. Khadija was the 40 year old widow who Muhammad married at the tender age of 25 in his quest to accumulate wealth quickly!

  19. Andrea says:

    Hijab is not part of this religion, it’s part of a culture formed by that religion. Everybody needs and should be able to adapt his culture.

    1. afande says:

      Osamangogwiritsa ntchito mawu onyansa nthawi zonse mukaona nkhani yokhudza Chisilamu kapena asilamu. . chilungamo chake ndi choti sukuluyi ndi yachisilamu, ophunzira achisilamu aloledwe kuvala hijab. Hijab ndi mbali imodzi ya chipembedzo mmene ziliri akatolika achikazi. Why do you always want to attack islam and Muslims, Nyasa times readers, can’t you be objective sometimes.

    2. Big man says:

      Hijab is part of our religion if you don’t know just shut up your mouth

      1. Andrea says:

        Which Sure?

    3. Biggie says:

      Nawonso o chewa azikalowetsa nyau mkalasi if indeed culture need to b embraced within the four walls of the classroom, Ngonis with zibiya in class, muhahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!

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