This sounds strangely familliar…

CNN reports that a female professor led a mixed-gender Islamic prayer service on Friday, despite some criticism and charges that it violated “centuries of tradition.”

Amina Wadud, a professor of Islamic studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, led the service at Synod House at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, an Episcopal church in Manhattan.
Some Islamic scholars have said they were aware of a few other mixed-gender prayer meetings led by women, mostly in the West, but they are rare.
“The issue of gender equality is a very important one in Islam, and Muslims have unfortunately used highly restrictive interpretations of history to move backward,” Wadud said before the service. “With this prayer service we are moving forward. This single act is symbolic of the possibilities within Islam.”

The full article can be found here.

9 thoughts on “This sounds strangely familliar…

  1. Does this sound as familiar?
    “Only a handful of protesters showed up outside the event and they conducted a counter prayer service on the sidewalk, led by a young American man who would only give his name as Nussruh. “These people do not represent Islam,” said the clearly furious Nussruh. “If this was an Islamic state, this woman would be hanged, she would be killed, she would be diced into pieces.”

  2. Why do the 3 western religions hate women so much? There are fringe groups in all 3 that allow women to conduct services but the orthodox in all 3 don’t really let women participate in any meaningful way

  3. Brown,
    It’s hardly fair to refer to Conservative/Reform Judaism and Protestantism as “fringe groups” within there respective religions. Both are of significant size and both, to varying extents (Protestantism is an overbroad category) give women significant roles. Moreover, there seems to be a good faith effort to do the same in Islam, despite what could be described as a currently hostile environment.

  4. BS”D
    The goal of a religion is to teach about and be sensitive to the ‘essence’ of each person and their relationship to the world they live in. This ‘essence’ is well hidden by the distractions of the 5 senses, called the physical world. We label that which is not defined by the 5 senses the spiritual, and on that level it’s possible to tap into the core reality of each thing in the world.
    It seems every religion sees to come to the same conclusions about the function and essence of men and women, probably because they are taping into the same reality. In the same way, scientist who tap into the physical will be able to define the physical make up and function of men and women.
    To say briefly, it becomes pretty clear that men are the so-called “hunters and gatherers”, i.e. they are meant to go out into the world and bring things into the home. Men are intrinsically leting out into the world, constantly taking and releasing to those around him. Physically, they are the breadwinners, bringing the money home. Spriitually, they give the raw feel to the home, setting the standard of religious/spiritual practice, setting the tone of strictnes/dicipline vs. love and warmth. In short, they are the interface between the home and the world around them.
    Women, however, are gifted in taking all those things from the mand and actualizing its potential. Physically, this can be through taking the money and buying what’s needed for the house or the family. Or taking the raw groceries and making food for the family. Spiritually, of course, their great gift is in raising children, guding them and devloping their potential and teaching them how to use their gifts and actualize themselves. In this way, women define the internal workings of the household, seting the decor, beutifying the place in response to the raw imput of the man. In short, women work from the inside, building a home from what the man bings in from the outside.
    For as long we have recorded history, these two instrinsic roles have been well known and obvious to every culture and generation. The modern western world seemes to have moved far from any understanding of what it is to be a man or a woman, and those raised to constantly cover up that reality can only look back at over 5000 years of history and ask “How is it that eveyone else was so wrong.” Meanwhile this generation strugles to maintain any semblance of family or healthy self-identity, leaving most people with sharply painful low self-esteem.
    In short, Brown, the gender roles of most cultures today and nearly all the previous generations, has nothing to do with hatred, rather they are an attempt, if not an accurate definition, of a healthy culture. The anger and protest at the destruction of this social structure is simply out of a desire to protect themselves from a downfal similar to America’s current depression.

  5. Moshe: So then I guess you would disagree with all the relgious couples in which in the woman work while nine months pregnant, raise plenty of children, cook, beutify the home, do all the wonderful things you describe for women AND men, while their husbands study torah all day.
    I see you are well versed in Relgious matters, but maybe you should read some secular history, to see how and why the roles of men and women have changed over all this time.

  6. I have many very relgious yeshivah family members in which the women do all the breadwinning, as well as all the “women roles” and they are quite happy doing it. Are these torah true women, denying their roles as women, are these torah true men forgetting the main difference between themselves and their wives? This reversal of roles is acceptable in their community becuase it BENIFITS MEN. As soon as these roles are reversed to the benifit of women we hear all the uproar and relgious jusifications to keep women their “female” roles.

  7. You know,
    the world would definitely be a more peaceful place if America succeeded in secularizing everyone. Of course, soon afterwards, we’d have a situation where everyone is living for the pursuit of happinessand pleasure and heck, we know that American society is going to crap, so please keep that over there. The new religion of politically correct relativism is one reason why I left Canada, and I wasn’t even religious.
    As for the woman roles issue,
    reminds me of a reform neighbour of my parents whose father passed away. Her synagogue demanded that she show up daily to fill the minyan and say kadish. She refused, and decided to give tzedakah to the local orthodox synagogue instead.

  8. America SECULARIZING everyone? In case you haven’t noticed, this is the most religious country in the Western world. And somehow American society is still “going to crap,” as you so eloquently put it. Interesting.

  9. Also, Moshe – please spare us your dogmatic attempt at justifying patriarchy. First of all, your generalizations about all religions sharing certain assumptions of gender roles is not at all borne out by reality. Second, where is your proof about these “essences”? Anyway, “You have got to be kidding me” already set you straight, so I won’t add anymore. Am I the only Jewish boy whose mother told him what’s up?

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