Your wonderful messages seem to have gotten some attention–if you remember from this post, the mosque in my area is in the middle of a (very long) reconstruction process, and recently they’ve announced that they were going to “fix something” about the discrepancy in the space allotted to women compared to men, because there have been various complaints.
Now I don’t really trust the committee–it was said this project itself would be complete years ago but even that hasn’t happened–and I don’t know what “changes” are really being made to the original plan, but it seems we’ve gotten some attention. There were also a couple of women who came in, saw the current situation, and left before prayers. When asked why they were leaving they replied, “You clearly don’t want us here.”
I want to thank you all again and give you A THOUSAND HUGS! I am still very bitter about this whole thing and I suspect there is more to be done, as I hypothesize this has only resulted to a merely “not as bad but still atrocious” version of the barrier because the message will not be understood clearly.
5 thoughts on “On the Mosque Reconstruction: An Update”
This is positive news! It makes me feel more hopeful. Like you, I am extremely skeptical in regards to my local mosque that the new mosque when it is built will really have “shared” areas vs relegating women to the small room and separating it in some way, especially since nobody from the mosque seems to have addressed my concerns (at least in a way that makes me think they actually read my concerns). But I AM hopeful when you say your mosque is at least saying they’ll do something, because their response shows others are banding together with you and expressing their own distaste about the situation. If they don’t address it satisfactorily, you will not be the only one complaining. There is strength in numbers :)
I really hope that’s true! But I have a feeling that the complaints they received are all your messages (not those who attend the mosque), and that the two women mentioned were passers-by (not the local congregation), so if results aren’t satisfactory there will be no one left to complain. =( But I know something will be done about it; it has to be eventually, if not sooner then much later. I just wish it were sooner.
Truly, the only thing that makes me feel more welcome in the mosque than the women’s prayer area being a tiny room, accessed through a side door, down a narrow hallway, and up (or down) a staircase? Is sitting through a khutba in which the khatib says, out loud: “My dear brothers…and sisters, I’m not actually sure if there are any sisters here…” Really conveys that women are perceived as integral members of the community.
Oooh yes, and sometimes they ask for audience participation and they’re like, “Raise a hand if you have something to contribute about this…” and of course they can’t SEE me. Drives me nuts!
I am picturing the partition door being opened a crack and a bunch of women’s hands poking through when they say this :) lol. Would people eventually realize how silly this is? Of course that would only work if the door is even adjacent and on the same floor, which isn’t always the case anyway.