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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

First woman to lead Friday prayers in UK

UK has its first (born) Muslim woman lead prayers

The story is same with Muslims as it is with Jews, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and others. A woman cannot lead the respective prayers. At the Parliament of world's religions in Melbourne in 2009, we pushed the panel of some 12 men representing each faith as to why? The best honest answer came from the Catholic Bishop, "this is what we are told to do". Indeed, the change has to ease into the new norms, it just cannot happen because some one wants it. As we go forward, we will present the stories of all faiths with similar stories.

However, the reformed movements in all the faiths have opened it up. Just this week in the UK, a Synagogue was severely criticized for letting women touch the Torah Scrolls and carry it to read in the Temple.

Muslims have raised hell and have gotten ugly when the first Muslim woman led prayers were held in New York by Dr. Amina Wadud in 2003 or 2004. They held disgusting placards outside the place of worship, it was embarrassing the way a few Muslims reacted to it.

There is nothing wrong in a woman leading the prayer. Islam is not a negative religion, it's positive. No where in Quran or Hadith it's banned women from leading the prayers. Just because it was not done before, it does not mean you cannot do it now. Prophet would have driven a car if there was one, that does not mean we have to ride camels. Men should feel secure, they are not losing their jobs.

Blaming the west is not true and it is a conspiracy spun by a few.  I have been a supporter of this movement since 2003, when Dr. Amina Wadud led the first Juma prayers - she was on my Radio show. A lot has been debated since, it will take another generation to accept this, but it will be over a period of time. It will take another three generations to get this change to become a norm in Asia and perhaps a century in Arab lands.  The Christians, Jews and Hindus need to gloat, on one can have the last laugh.

Islam is not a negative and restrictive religion... it started with a command to recite, learn, read.... and we must.

Mike Ghouse is a Muslim speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism
, Islaminterfaith and other topics. He is committed to nurturing pluralistic values embedded in Islam and building cohesive Socieities and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day, all his writings are at www.TheGhouseDiary.com   

First woman to lead Friday prayers in UK

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