Women and Mosques
Mosques should be a hub of activity, the centre of community life. More than just a prayer space. Looking back to the time of Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, we can see vibrant places where everyone was welcome and respected.
According to the latest data held on the ‘Muslims in Britain’ website there are 2131 Mosques and of those, 72% have a listed place for women to pray.
Working alongside online campaigns such as Open My Mosque and My Mosque Story, we have heard stories from women all over the UK who have shared their experiences that paint a negative picture of the reality on the ground.
We also know that where Mosques are open and have good involvement from women, those places are better in so many ways.
In essence, our belief very much is that only when we do things together, we can thrive. By closing the door on half our community, we will never really progress. Muslim communities will never be the positive force for good that is possible if women are not involved or feel shut out.
This fits into other discussions around inclusion in general. How many young people are on your local Mosque board? Is your Mosque only catering for one ethnic group? When was the last time you saw a group of people in wheelchairs coming to pray at your local Mosque? How do parents with children who have special needs feel about coming with them to the Mosque? Have you seen sign language being used in regular prayers at your local Mosque? All relevant issues for us to ponder that should be high on the agenda.
This work is not new, of course not. Many have gone before us and we are indeed building on whatever we can of that.
A few areas we want to focus on where we have identified gaps in the current conversations among UK Muslims:
A nuanced mapping of UK Mosques particularly sharing women’s perspectives.
What can women learn from other faith communities and places of worship and how can ideas and best practice be shared?
Showcasing good examples of inclusive UK mosques where women are valued and involved in positive ways.
Organise discussions around Islamic teachings on issues connected with women, worship, scholarship and communal involvement. What did it look like at the time of Muhammad, pbuh? How have Muslim women been seen and appreciated throughout history to the present day?
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This project is led by women but of course, we know the importance of working with male allies too.
All are welcome, message us and let’s talk!