By David Dennis from Scotts Valley, CA, USA (Woman in Alabaster Mosque of Mohamed Ali in Cairo) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By David Dennis from Scotts Valley, CA, USA (Woman in Alabaster Mosque of Mohamed Ali in Cairo) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

American Islamic organization pushes for mosques to alleviate the poor conditions women are forced to worship in across the country.

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the largest Sunni Islam organization on the continent, is calling for American mosques to become more inclusive for women, the Huffington Post is reporting

There are a wide variety of conditions under which women pray in mosques in the Americas. Some are spacious and beautiful, but others are little more than closets or cramped basements.

ISNA refers to the Quran for support.  The Prophet Muhammad ordered that women be allowed to visit the masjid (mosque): “If the wife of anyone asks permission to attend the masjid, he should not prevent her.”

More support for the cause of women in mosques is Side Entrance, which is a project that has been showing pictures of the men’s and women’s prayer space at mosques for a few years now. It calls for men to both recognize the conditions under which women are forced to worship in many mosques, and to help correct the problem.

Many agencies report that two thirds of mosques are divided by gender for morning prayers. Side Entrance, as its name suggests, says that women must enter through side or back entrances in many of these situations. 

The all-women mosque in Los Angeles is an enormous step in the right direction for women’s rights in mosques. It is the first of its kind in the United States. However, there are all-women mosques in India, Chile and China.

150 women from around the United States flew in for the opening of the mosque, an event that was hosted by a female imam. 

Edina Lekovic, who works with the California Muslim Public Affairs Council, stated it best when discussing the role women should play in prayer and other activities with the Muslim faith, “We have the right and responsibility to our faith.”

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