Share this page
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Rate this post

Myriam Francois-Cerrah responds in the Daily Telegraph,

A gala hosted by the London School of Economics has reignited the row over religious gender segregation. Why? The event, for the university’s Islamic Society, included a screen running down the middle of the hall, separating the sexes.

Men and women often sit apart in the religious practice of various faiths, of course; from Muslims to Jews, Sikhs and Hindus and Buddhist monasteries – which have long been male only.  In Islam, the physical separation of men and women varies tremendously. In Mecca during the annual pilgrimage for example, it doesn’t happen at all. In some large mosques, men and women may pray in the same room with no divider, only separate ‘sections’ . . .

 It isn’t intended to reflect a hierarchy of gender, with Prophet Mohamed’s farewell sermon affirming a central teaching of Islam: that all humans being are equal, distinguished only by piety and good deeds.  Of course, as is often the case, the theory and the practise are not always in sync. . .

There’s no doubt there exist men who will, and do, use religious texts to affirm a male supremacist narrative and who wield this weapon as a means of keeping women out of centres of religious power. The issue of separating men and women in non-devotional spaces – such as a gala or a debate – is more controversial, even within the Muslim  community. . .

As is so often the case when it comes to Muslims, the politicisation of religious issues raises what is essentially a debate over the alleged incompatibility of Muslims with broader society. This feeds into an already toxic climate, in which real issues are distorted to fit an Islamophobic discourse – ultimately impacting Muslim women first and foremost, as the primary targets of anti-Muslim hate. . . Ultimately, what is far more divisive than the petty paternalism of a dividing screen is the misappropriation of Muslim women’s struggles for political ends.’  click here.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •