Women protest Islamic tradition against segregation of sexes
In the USA, women are equal and freedom is guaranteed
They are in the USA, living near the US Capital, and they are being segregated against by their own religion. Religion in America is second to the US Constitution and Bill of Rights for all people. It took women in this country to fight for their freedom which they did not get until well into the 1900’s.
There is no room in the USA for any religion or any other organization that discriminates against women, regardless of historical tradition or obsolete mythology.
Women can turn the tide against the ridiculousness of human made rules and traditions that subordinate individual freedom and equal rights for all.
“Mosque pray-ins against segregation of sexes are springing up
By William Wan and Michael Laris
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Last Saturday, five women took off their shoes and walked across the padded carpet at the Dar al-Hijrah mosque, one of the Washington region's largest Islamic centers.
For weeks, they had planned for this moment, to stand behind the men in the main prayer hall of the Falls Church mosque as an act of protest. Usually, women at the mosque pray in segregated spaces away from the men, but these women, who came from outside the Dar al-Hijrah community, wanted to make a point.
It was the third time this year that the women had staged a protest at a Washington area mosque, and, as before, the conflict began almost immediately. By the end, angry words would be exchanged, the police called.
Such "pray-in" protests have sprung up in Muslim communities across the country in the past decade as women's rights advocates and feminist Muslims have agitated for more shared spaces in mosques. One of the women at the Dar Al-Hijrah event, author Asra Nomani, was even featured in a 2009 film documenting her protest at a mosque in Morgantown, W.Va.
The activists have compared their efforts to the civil rights struggle of the 1960s, but those who oppose them say the issue is not that simple. At mosques where such protests have taken place, for example, the longtime female attendees often are happy with the arrangement because praying in a segregated space allows them privacy and modesty. It is only protesters barging in from outside their communities who clamor for change, they say. The goal of protesters has also changed from city to city, with some trying to pray behind the men in the prayer hall, others wanting to pray side-by-side. Such nuances were lost at Dar al-Hijrah as the clash between the protesters and the mosque's leaders eventually devolved into a heated argument.
When the women entered for the 5:10 p.m. prayer, scores of men were already lined up in long rows beneath a domed skylight facing Imam Shaker Elsayed, the leader of the Fairfax County mosque. The mosque's regular attendees told the women that they belonged upstairs on the balcony, behind a glass barrier, where women usually pray.
But Elsayed, recognizing the women from a community debate weeks earlier, instructed the men to stand down. "We have a group of sisters who want to make a point," he said. Elsayed welcomed the women to remain but asked them to stand at the very back of the room. He believes it is immodest for women to prostrate themselves before Allah in full view of men standing or walking behind them.
But protester Fatima Thompson challenged Elsayed. "Your interpretation of that Sunnah is incorrect," she called out, referring to a guide to Islamic practice. The two continued sparring over sacred texts until Elsayed pulled back. "This is no time for argumentation. Let us go for the prayer," he told the room, but added this declaration: "This is your last visit to this place, Fatima. This is your last visit to this place." He later worked with police on paperwork to ban their return.”
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