Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Middle East Media Research translates Arab press reaction to Mixed Friday Prayers Led by a Woman

MEMRI translates a variety of Arab commentators on this event:
On March 18, 2005, for the first time on record in the history of Islam, a woman led a mixed congregation of men and women in Friday prayers. The imam was Dr. Amina Wadud, an American Muslim of Indian origin who is professor of Islamic studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, and the author of the book The Qur'an and the Woman: Rereading the Holy Text from a Female Perspective.
Half way down you'll read this about Chicago's impact on faith.
Egyptian Islamist writer Fahmi Huweidi argued scathingly that the event was part of a wide-range American battle aimed at dismantling Islam "both in the name of modernizing it and on the pretext of fighting extremism and terror.

"During one of my visits [to the U.S.] I attended a conference of Muslims in Chicago, in which an American Muslim approached one of the participating clerics and asked whether it would be permissible to perform the Friday prayer on Sunday, since his work schedule did not allow him to attend Friday prayers – whereas on Sunday, he had plenty of time to do so…

"At first the question seemed funny. But the man was asking in all seriousness, and seemed upset when told that Friday prayer should be performed on Friday, and that if a Muslim could not do so due to his work conditions, he would be forgiven, and he was not at fault.
Check Martin Marty's write up in the Encyclopedial of Chicago and you'll learn "Chicago boasts more theological seminaries of more denominations than any other American metropolis." We've dealt with the conflicts between tradition and modernity, and I believe have much to offer the world if we can calm things down and defeat the lunatics bent on our destruction first.

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