Source: Arab News
On March 23, 2005 Arab News reported, "The Islamic Fiqh Academy, an affiliate of the 55-member Organization of the Islamic Conference, has strongly condemned as 'religious heresy' the recent incident of a woman leading Friday prayers in New York City.
'This is a misleading heresy and sedition,' the academy said about the incident in which Amina Wadud, a professor of Islamic Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, led prayers for a mixed-gender group.
'The incident is a clear violation of Shariah as it does not allow women leading prayers for men or delivering Friday sermon to them or mingling of men and women at prayers,' said the academy’s statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.
'The incident has contradicted what has been generally agreed upon by most Islamic scholars and experts of jurisprudence,' the statement said, adding that the organizers of the prayers, at a church in Manhattan, were following weak evidence that is not drawn from authentic Islamic books."