Muslim Woman Will Organize More Prayer Services Led By Women
Asra Nomani, the author of a book on women in Islam and former Wall Street Journal reporter, is organizing the second women-led prayer service in a week. Nomani’s work organizing women-led services has sparked opposition from Islamic leaders, including receiving threats and what she describes as “violent e-mails” from people opposed to her work, reports Reuters. Despite the threats, Nomani is still planning to organize services across the United States.
Amina Wadud recently led a mixed-gender prayer in New York City to challenge the role of leading prayer that is historically held by men and to bring attention to the second-class status that many Muslim women face. According to the New York Times, during her prayer service men and women broke from tradition and prayed side by side. Some of the women, including the woman who sounded the call to pray, did not wear headscarves.
At a news conference before the service began, Nomani said, “The voices of women have been silenced by centuries of man-made traditions, and we’re saying, ‘No more!’ We’re going to move from the back of the mosque to the front of the mosque,” reports the New York Times. In the majority of mosques in the United States, women pray in separate rows than men. They are often relegated to areas behind the men, in other rooms, or on another floor where they listen to the sermon on television or over speakers.
Media Resources: New York Times 3/19/05; Reuters 3/25/05; Women’s eNews 3/25/05; Feminist Daily News Wire 3/18/05
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .