Final Project: Women’s Mosque of America.

Posted on May 2, 2015 by

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Introduction

 This project will focus on the topic “Women’s Mosque of America” which is obviously an Islamic coverage. In this work, more detail will be given in the analysis by looking at the impressions the heading gives overall in the articles viewed, at the beginning also in relation to this topic. After looking at this, I will go on to talk about how the situation is defined, whether they give a good impression or not. In the various sources, different emotions stir up since there are different views from the sources, and this will be looked at. The general attitude and how the coverage arouses that, and also how conspicous it is. Another thing that will be discussed will be the issues the authors place emphasis on, and the differences and similarities in them. To conclude this project, my focus will be on why this coverage is an important topic in the media to talk about.

The Women’s Mosque of America

The mosque of America for women only which is the first of its kind was founded by Comedy writer, Hasna Maznavi and Lawyer, Sana Muttalib as a  response to the various ways women are made to feel uncomfortable in many mosques. The topic of this project when looked at in the various articles gives the reader a notion that it is an all-women’s mosque which clearly males cannot attend. At the beginning, the articles tend to explain what the subject of the matter is about,that is a new mosque for women only which is the first of its kind in America and what their purpose is. The situation of an “All women’s mosque in America’ is explained in the sources  as the mosque being open to muslim women and visitors as well. The women have the chance to talk to their leaders who will be able to address their problems and concerns from a female poit of view, stated in the articles.WMAGenerally, people seem to be happy about this new all women’s mosque in America especially the women, whom of course it would be beneficial to. The image above by Lori Shelper which was posted in the Aljaxeera America News, shows the women at the mosque listening to a service from theur leader, a fellow woman and this places more emphasis on the topic. Some words which can be seen mostly in the sources throughout are “women” and “prayer”. These words flow in all the articles and it shows it relationship with the topic being spoken about, that is, Women’s Mosque. These words also describe or give an idea of what the purpose of putting up a mosque for women is. It can then be concluded that they (Muslim women) go to the mosque basically to pray.

However, it can be clearly seen how the coverage has aroused the media. The subject of the matter is being spoken by popular media sources including social networks as well such as Facebook and Twitter where people leave various comments regarding this topic with even non-muslims wanting to visit the place.This in all shows the people’s reactions towards this new mosque built for the muslim women.

Looking at the articles in relation to this topic, the authors have expressed their views about the issue whether a woman can act as leader( the Imam) of the mosque. From the article, “Thoughts on the Women’s Mosque of America”, it has been stated that ” There’s a difference of opinion amongst the four schools of thiught regarding whether or not a woman can be the Imam of an exclusively female congregation. According to the Hanafis, Shafis and Hanabalis its permissible. The Hanafis add that although although it may be permissible, its disliked(makruh), but the disliked nature does not affect the validity of the prayer. They also add that the woman leading the congregation sould ot stand in front. She should stand alongside the other women in the middle of the row. They base their opinion on a few narrations that mention that Aisha and Umm Salamah used to lead women in prayer.”

First of all, the author of the article states that four schools of thought but only  mentions three schools which are in supoort of the Women’s  only mosque. This questions the statement of whether  the forth school of thought  is also in support of the women being leaders in a mosque or not. It should have been included in order to let readers know what the forth school of thought thinks in this instance. Another statement made in the article was about the leader of the congregation standing with the others during prayers.

In my own opinion, if the leaders stand with the rest of the people (congregation), the service will not look organised and presentable. The image above shows the leaders of the mosque standing behind a podium addressing the people. This is more decent as the congregation needs to focus on the  leader during services as well by facing her. This way, everyone pays particular attention.

In the sources, the authors have emphasized on the founders of the mosque together with other women  feeling unwelcomed. In the Huffington post, a Chicago-based writer, Hind Makki says,” Mosques are often segregated by gender, sometimes with wall dividers marking off each area.  Many women have expressed frustration at these divisions.” Also, it says that the men had no conception of the women’s experience. To    comment on this matter of women feeling frustrated and unwelcomed, I guess the mosque was set-up in order to make them feel comfortable, encourage female participation in existing mosques and increase the women’s access to Islamic knowledge.

This coverage is an important topic in the media because it gives people the chance to give their views in relation to this. For example , a person who has thought about this issue but cannot express himself/herself get to do that through the availability of social networks. They can make comments on a the topic if brought up by another person. This can makethe discussion on a coverage spread especially when a lot of people talk about it.

Conclusion

As the Women’s Mosque of America is the first of its kind in the U.S, I believe it will encourage the construction of more new mosques all over the world purposely for women. The founders of this mosque who took the responsibility of bringing up a mosque for women in America have set up the stage for others to copy in order to make the women feel more comfortable and welcomed in the mosques.

Bibliography

  Anna Sterling, “Keeping the Faith: Inside America’s First Women-Only Mosque”, Nbc News, 02/24/15 (http://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/keeping-faith-inside-americas-first-women-only-mosque-n30772

                                 Antonia Blumberg, “Women’s Mosque opens in L.A. with A Vision For The Future of Muslim-American Leadership”, The Huffington post 02/02/15 (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/30/womens-mosque-los-angeles_n_6572388.html).

   Furhan Zubairi,”Thoughts on the Women’s Mosque of America”, Muslim matters, 02/21/15  (http://muslimmatters.org/2015/01/30/thoughts-on-the-womens-mosque-of-america/).

Miriam Krule, “American Muslim Women Open First Female-Only Mosque in the U.S.” Slate, 02/02/15 (http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2015/02/02/women_s_mosque_of_america_first_female_only_mosque_in_u_s_opens_in_l_a.html)

                                        Nick Street,”First all-female mosque opens in Los Angeles”, Aljazeera America,02/03/15 (http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/2/3/first-all-female-mosque-opens-in-los-angeles.html).

                                        Sarah Parvini, “Downtown L.A. mosque imagines empowered role for Muslim Women”, L.A. Times, 01/30/15 (http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-0131-downtown-womens-mosque-20150131-story.html).

                                        Tamara Audi, “Feeling Unwelcome at mosques, 2 Women Start Their Own in L.A.” The Wall Street Journal, 01/30/15 (http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2015/02/02/feeling-unwelcome-at-mosques-2-women-start-their-own-in-l-a/)

                                          Unknown Author, ” First women-ony ‘mosque’ opens in Los Angeles”, BBC, 02/21/15                                                                (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-31564683).

                                          Unknown Author, “The women’s mosque of America”, Twitter, Unknown date,(https://twitter.com/womensmosque).
                                          
                                         Unknown Author,”The women’s mosque of America”, Facebook, Unknown date,(https://www.facebook.com/WomensMosque)
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Posted in: Islam