Toronto Mosque Seen as Model for More Flexible Form of Islam in West

December 21, 2004

Source: News Service

On December 21, 2004 the Religion News Service reported, "The handful of girls and women arriving for Friday prayers at the Islamic center make small talk before removing their coats and shoes, tying their head scarves and quietly filing into the prayer room -- just as their Muslim sisters do the world over this day...The only conspicuous difference is that at the Noor Cultural Centre, females do not use a separate entrance, do not sit in a balcony or behind a partition, or languish at the back of the room. The small, glassed-in prayer space in the center's basement is believed to be the first place in Canada where Muslim men and women pray side by side -- or at least, lined up with each other. It's not completely egalitarian -- a three-foot aisle separates the men's and women's sections -- but it's being hailed as a major first step in the expression of a more flexible form of Islam in the West."