Monday, February 05, 2007

Much To Do About 5 Feet



I think that the whole story about the female worshipers at the Islamic Center of Tucson now being able to see the Imam has been blown out of context. Believe it or not, this story has garnered national and international attention, and unfortunately it has been used to perpetuate the image of Islam oppressing women. Out of all of the interviews given about the opening of the curtain I noticed somethings were absent.
First of all, either it was edited out or not mentioned that women are not required to attend Friday prayers while it is required for men. This would explain why the mens side is larger. Also, as far as I know, when the ICT was constructed the majority of the Jummah congregation consisted overwhelmingly of men. Second, there is also a portion of the woman who preferred the concealment because it allowed them to attend to their small children during the khutbah.
I personally feel that the solution was equatable, but not worthy of all the attention given to it( oddly enough this topic was addressed on Little Mosque a few weeks are it happened in Tucson). I fear that such attention primarily serves to re-enforce negative stereotypes that may be true of some nationalities, but not true of Islam. Articles that about Islam that say that the men are disappearing and that women are taking the forefront only serve as a divisive mechanism within the Ummah.

As a side note, I hope that some of the same sisters that exhibit so much zeal in establishing their Islamic rights within the mosque, use that same zeal to encourage sisters outside of the mosque. By this I mean it is disheartening when sisters nearly give themselves whiplash while snatching off the their hijabs after salaat so that they can blend in with their non-Muslim counterparts.

1 comment:

StudentInIslam said...

Salam,

It does not surprises me what is happening in your area. A while ago here in UK we had similar situation. Where a group Muslim sisters went on National TV (Channel 4 Dispatches: "Women Only Jihad") demanding space in the mosque. Many of the issue was taken out of context.

What I found very disappointing that these very sisters were never interested in having a view when these mosque were established. I.E. when the local elders establishing the mosques they have never raise any issue about there space with their own family members.

We have to respect our elders who have done so much to establish these mosques that are perhaps capable of only serving brothers. Rather then having a go at our local mosque elders and mosque committee, these sisters should understand how difficult it has been to set-up these mosque in the first palace.

I am not against the sisters who want to go to the mosque, I pro actively encourage them to do so. As for getting access tot he mosque and having a say in the mosque they need to be 1) patience 2) diplomatics and most importantly 3) sensitive.