Sunday, November 14, 2004

Women and the Eid sermon

From the Toronto Star:

"Up at the front of the United Muslim Association mosque yesterday, a confident Maryam Mirza delivered part of the Eid al-Fitr sermon. In doing so, she marked the end of Ramadan (the month of fasting) and what many called a new beginning for Muslim women as she took on a role traditionally left to men."


"News of Mirza's delivery of the sermon also attracted guests from other mosques, who showed up to support and congratulate the association's move.

'This is history for me. It is a great way to start the Eid celebration,' said Faizal Kayum, who attended yesterday's service with his son Azeem. 'The religion has been dominated by males. It's about time for women to step up to the plate.'

Imam Ally said he hopes the congregation, whose members mostly come from Guyana and the Caribbean, can start a wave of positive change for women within the Muslim community."

This may not sound like much, but a woman giving part of the Eid sermon is something like the Pope deciding to get married. It will be interesting to see the conservative reaction to this. Is Islam capable of progressive change, or not?