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British Muslim Women Pushing for More Access to Mosques

Visit My Mosque Day -Make Space for Women
By H.akhtar99Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link
Many mosques do not allow women to enter their premises.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has been in the forefront when it comes to organizing the fourth edition of the yearly Visit My Mosque Day.[/tweetit] Over 200 mosques participated. The aim of this venture was to boost the community relations and diffuse tensions, if any, over tea. With all the publicity given to the Visit My Mosque day, it could be easy to overlook the equally important Open My Mosque social media campaign. British Muslim women are behind Open My Mosque. The objective is to challenge and encourage the mosques to open for women during all hours.

British Muslim Women Pushing for More Access to Mosques[/tweetthis]

The Open My Mosque initiative was started by Anita Nayyar, who highlighted how it is difficult for women to enter the mosque. The 36-year-old began the initiative in 2015. She has documented how women are treated unfairly in mosques. They have used words like “humiliated”, “isolated”, and “frustrated” to describe their plight. It is no wonder she receives innumerable calls, social media messages, and emails from many women and also a few men to express grievances.

Muslim women suffer more abuse compared to their male counterparts. Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, said that Islamophobia is right at the top with racism against Afro-Caribbeans and anti-Semitism. He made such remarks at the North London located Finsbury Park mosque. He went on to add that many Muslim women have told him horrific instances of racist abuse simply because they wore a headscarf. This is not only a wrong against those Muslim women but also against Britain. Finsbury Park mosque took part in Visit My Mosque day. People of all faiths and even of no faith can witness prayers, read the Q'uran, ask any number of questions and also take part in henna and hijab demonstrations. They can also consume traditional food. This effort is being made to debunk myths concerning Islam.

British mosques are blatantly anti-women. Among a total of 1,975 mosques in the UK, about 28 percent do not provide women any kind of facilities. About 50 percent of the mosques administered by South Asian communities do not allow them. Even when mosques permit women to enter, their movement is severely curtailed to only a few parts of the compound. A prayer space for women is not found, fewer still a teaching space like girls' madrasa.


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