Muslim Women to Mosque: Tear Down This Wall

February 18, 2010

Author: Omar Sacirbey

Source: Beliefnet/Religion News Service

The walls that segregate Muslim men from women inside many American mosques took a long time to go up, and it could be a long time before they come down.

On Saturday (Feb. 20), Fatima Thompson will find out just how firm those walls are. 

Thompson, 44, is planning for about 30 like-minded Muslims to help her stage a "stand-in" at the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C., in a bid to persuade mosque leaders to remove a seven-foot partition behind which women pray -- or at least allow women the option of praying in front of it.

"Every woman should be able to stand with the congregation. That's the correct way," said Thompson, who converted to Islam 18 years ago.

Thompson's protest at the stately mosque along Embassy Row is the latest effort by Muslim activists to reform conditions in American mosques that they say are discriminatory and degrading to women.

See also: Islam, Women