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Los Angeles - First All-Female Mosque Opens Up In US

Published on: February 1, 2015 09:55 PM
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Muslim women kneel for the prayer service at the Women's Mosque of America in downtown Los Angeles, California January 30, 2015. REUTERS/Lori Shepler (UNITED STATES)Muslim women kneel for the prayer service at the Women's Mosque of America in downtown Los Angeles, California January 30, 2015. REUTERS/Lori Shepler (UNITED STATES)

Los Angeles - Approximately 150 women gathered at an interfaith center in Los Angeles for what may be the first all-female Mosque in the United States on Friday afternoon.

Male imams traditionally lead prayers and Quran teachings but the Women’s Mosque of America, which claims to be the country’s first female-only mosque, aims to present an alternative by creating an all-female space for prayer, lead by a female imam.

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Word of the event spread to Muslim women across the country through social media sites, such as Facebook and twitter, and leadership retreats. Some women from New Jersey and Nevada decided to travel and be a part of what they consider a historical event.

“I think it’s this awesome occasion for people to come together, women especially, to find a better way to connect with religion and I think that. And I think that’s important especially being in a younger generation, in America, I think it’s important for us to go to Friday prayers as just females and listening to female lead prayer versus going to jummah with a ton of other people and being a little segregated in between,” said Hina Warsi, who flew in from Las Vegas, Nevada for the special prayer.

“It’s been such a long struggle for women to get a voice in so many religions and women in Islam have had the same struggle. So, to be here in a time where we get to see this breakthrough, and you know what there’s some people who, I don’t know, they’ve had bad things to say like haters got hate, right? But it’s just so exciting,” said Noor-Malika Chishti.

The idea for a women’s only mosque came from Women’s Mosque of America co-founder M. Hasna Maznavi. Maznavi grew up attending an integrated mosque in southern California but after renovations to her local mosque created a traditional and patriarchal environment, separating men from women during prayer, she became disillusioned. After many years of studying leadership and the history of women in Muslim culture, Maznavi decided she would make her childhood dream of building a mosque a reality.

“We just wanted to have a safe space where women could come and get inspired and hear from a female khatiba or someone who delivers the khutbah or the sermon and that’s an opportunity that we don’t get in other mosques. The speaker is always a male imam and not only that, it’s very hard to access the imam because of the way the mosques are structured architecturally. Sometimes the men and women are completely cut off from one another. This mosque gives us a chance to connect with our leaders and also with one another in a way that we wouldn’t in another environment,” said Maznavi.

The traditional Friday prayer, or jummah, is currently only scheduled to take place once a month but the founders of Women’s Mosque of America, as well as some attending worshipers, hope the prayers can be held every Friday.



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Read Comments (19)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Feb 01, 2015 at 10:23 PM Anonymous Says:

who cares

2

 Feb 01, 2015 at 10:26 PM cool masmid Says:

So who's baby sitting? I mean she's out at the mosque praying and he's training in Yemen or Syria. So who's watching the little mamzeirim at home ?

3

 Feb 01, 2015 at 10:43 PM Pickle Says:

Why would they put a מגן דוד on the stained glass window in a mosque?

4

 Feb 01, 2015 at 10:57 PM Floridian Says:

Hey check out the star of David on Right window

5

 Feb 01, 2015 at 11:02 PM Yidaleh Says:

Out vey It's in a shul...
Look at the window on the right!

6

 Feb 01, 2015 at 11:03 PM Benyeli Says:

Is that a magen David on the window?

7

 Feb 01, 2015 at 11:15 PM MrSmith Says:

Reply to #2  
cool masmid Says:

So who's baby sitting? I mean she's out at the mosque praying and he's training in Yemen or Syria. So who's watching the little mamzeirim at home ?

They are also training to be killers ad soon as they are hatched

8

 Feb 01, 2015 at 11:20 PM Anonymous Says:

They found an old shule? look at the right side of the pic!

9

 Feb 01, 2015 at 11:49 PM watcher Says:

Nebech looks like a shul turned into a mosque in other words no different that a church

10

 Feb 01, 2015 at 11:53 PM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #5  
Yidaleh Says:

Out vey It's in a shul...
Look at the window on the right!

There are numerous women-only mosques in China and a few in other parts of the world.

The Jewish world will now take this as a cue and create women-only synagogues, women-only mikvaot, and women-only batei midrashim.

11

 Feb 01, 2015 at 11:51 PM charliehall Says:

Reply to #5  
Yidaleh Says:

Out vey It's in a shul...
Look at the window on the right!

Some Jews in the Bronx pray in a mosque. Nothing wrong here.

12

 Feb 01, 2015 at 11:27 PM Wondering_Star Says:

The room they are in is an interfaith center in Los Angeles so it has symbols from many religions in it, including the Magen David on the window on the right.

13

 Feb 02, 2015 at 12:16 AM lmfao Says:

The event took place at the Pico-Union Project near downtown L.A. The location was first a synagogue before it was donated for use by various different religious and ethnic entities. Sunday morning church services are also held there.
The Pico Union Project is dedicated to the Jewish principle to “love your neighbor as yourself.” We elevate this teaching into practice in our historic building by bringing diverse cultures together through song, story, art, food and prayer. We are a multi-faith cultural arts center and house of worship that aims to help invigorate the community of Los Angeles and reflect the Jewish value of being a light to all nations.

14

 Feb 02, 2015 at 01:21 AM Anonymous Says:

How long do you give it before some tolerant Islamic men blow up the joint? And no doubt blame it on the Jews,.,,

15

 Feb 02, 2015 at 06:25 AM PatersonMan Says:

Women of the ... WEST

16

 Feb 02, 2015 at 09:57 AM ModernLakewoodGuy Says:

Reply to #13  
lmfao Says:

The event took place at the Pico-Union Project near downtown L.A. The location was first a synagogue before it was donated for use by various different religious and ethnic entities. Sunday morning church services are also held there.
The Pico Union Project is dedicated to the Jewish principle to “love your neighbor as yourself.” We elevate this teaching into practice in our historic building by bringing diverse cultures together through song, story, art, food and prayer. We are a multi-faith cultural arts center and house of worship that aims to help invigorate the community of Los Angeles and reflect the Jewish value of being a light to all nations.

Do you really think your acceptance and interfaith understanding will be welcome on a website like this? Sadly not, but keep up the good work!

17

 Feb 02, 2015 at 10:55 AM lavrenty Says:

Reply to #11  
charliehall Says:

Some Jews in the Bronx pray in a mosque. Nothing wrong here.

oy another shul lost to goyim, eicha in play.

18

 Feb 02, 2015 at 03:03 PM marcia Says:

It is Common Practice And PREFERENCE to take over Shuls & Churches as mosques…dominance is commonplace.

19

 Feb 02, 2015 at 03:40 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
Charlie Hall Says:

There are numerous women-only mosques in China and a few in other parts of the world.

The Jewish world will now take this as a cue and create women-only synagogues, women-only mikvaot, and women-only batei midrashim.

First the feminits will do it. But the geneder segregation amonst the far right orthodox is getting silly-not publishing pictures of women in some frum papers and women without children taking the easy way out and not going to shul.

20

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