Muslim Women Fight Segregation in DC Mosque
US fights for Muslim women aboard, cops threaten arrest here
By Mary Papenfuss, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2010 1:48 AM CST
Updated Mar 1, 2010 4:22 AM CST
President Bush makes remarks during the re-dedication ceremony of the Islamic Center of Washington in 2007.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

(Newser) – In an action they link to Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her seat on a bus in the civil rights movement, American Muslim women are battling against a "men only" prayer section in a DC mosque. Police were called recently to the Islamic Center of Washington when protesting women knelt to pray with men instead of in their special section behind a barrier. The women were threatened with arrest if they failed to comply, reports the Daily Beast.

The incident raises troubling issues for Americans battling for basic rights in Islam on American soil, writes Asra Q. Nomani, who was banned from her Virginia mosque after she pointed out that Mohammad did not segregate female worshipers. While US soldiers fight in Afghanistan in part to improve women's rights there, police were dispatched "just a mile from the White House" to boot American Muslim women protesting gender segregation at their local mosque, Nomani notes.

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Showing 3 of 11 comments
Mar 2, 2010 5:31 AM CST
For the record, Orthodox Jewish women are similarly separated from the men during prayer.
Mar 2, 2010 12:32 AM CST
"The women were threatened with arrest if they failed to comply," - As long as various christian denominations aren't forced by the government to allow women to become, say priests or popes, then the government has NO business telling these muslims how to treat women. What is the difference in job discrimination vs "where you sit to pray" discrimination? The problem with all of these religious matters is that people settle on degrees of equality and not total equality.
Mar 1, 2010 3:20 PM CST
I have to admit I'm a bit conflicted. On the one hand I'm all for women's rights. I don't see any reason that Women shouldn't be treated as equals. However, on the other hand I don't want the government or anyone else for that matter dictating to me what my religion should or shouldn't be doing. What a conundrum.