Our discussion of the Alevi brings me to another topic. I read this morning that Alevi men and women pray together. By coincidence joint prayer came up in a conversation recently. I was making plans with a Palestinian female friend - she said that her husband was going to go to the mosque to pray and mentioned as an aside that she hardly goes to the mosque anymore. I told her that some people want to go to the mosque and pray together as a family (as well as meet with friends) but that certain mosques prevent this. She said "pray together? It's not allowed!". I told her some mosques have everyone praying together, but that mosques under the influence of foreigners often don't allow this. An article in The Boston Globe about the problem of enforced separation of male and female in the mosque states:
"A national survey released by the Council on American-Islamic Relations suggests the problem is growing. Fifty-two percent of mosques put female congregants behind a partition or in a separate room in 1994. Sixty-six percent of mosques did so in 2000."http://www.boston.com/news/globe/living ... _together/
Some women activists are trying to have the foreign-influenced separation ban changed, claiming that "if men and women can pray together in the holiest of Muslim mosques in Mecca, why can't they do the same in other places?" http://www.commongroundnews.org/article ... sid=1&sp=0
Another commentator writes, "The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: If any among your women asks permission to go to the mosque, don't stop her from going. But in some Muslim societies overseas, they don't let women in the mosques. They've turned the mosques into men-only clubs, contrary to what the Prophet ordered.
In North America and Britain, hard as it is to believe, too many Muslims have brought over this ignorant attitude and many mosques here don't allow women in. It's hard to understand why anybody would perpetuate such un-Islamic injustice."http://www.islamfortoday.com/womeninmosques.htm
I wonder how this issue, and the fact that the discussion even occurs, appears to those of you overseas?