Woman leads Muslim prayer service update. It seems that Muslims in the Middle East are up in arms, so to speak, about a prayer service held in New York — because a woman led it. From AP, with thanks to Scaramouche:
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) – Muslims in the Middle East yesterday angrily denounced a mixed-gender Islamic prayer service led by a woman in New York as a violation of their religion.
Amina Wadud, a professor of Islamic studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, led the service on Friday before a congregation of 80 to 100 men and women at Synod House at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan, an Episcopal church.
Three mosques had refused to hold the service, and an art gallery backed out after receiving a bomb threat. Organizers said the service was intended to draw attention to the inequality faced by Muslim women.
The Egyptian newspaper, Al-Messa, reported the service on its front page, with the emphatic headline: “They are tarnishing Islam in America!”
It referred to Wadud as “the deranged woman.”
A female Islamic law professor condemned the act as apostasy, explaining that a woman’s body “stirs desire” in men.
Well, stop the presses.
Some suggested the event was a U.S. conspiracy to mold traditional Islam into a secular U.S. religion….
Remember that sentence the next time CAIR or MPAC tries to strong-arm and intimidate you into assuming that Islam is nothing more or less than just another “secular U.S. religion,” and accuses you of “Islamophobia” if you disagree.
“Women were not allowed to have input in the basic paradigms of what it means to be a Muslim,” Wadud said after the service. She added that while the Islamic holy book, the Quran, puts men and women on equal footing, men have distorted its teachings to leave women with no role other than “as sexual partners.”
Come now, Ms. Wadud. I respect what you are doing, but really, do you expect us not to notice that the Qur’an says that “men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other” (Qur’an 4:34)? Are you hoping that Americans aren’t aware of this verse, or are you yourself in a state of denial and wishful thinking about the Qur’an?