Sherin Khankan from Denmark who is born to a Syrian Father and Finnish Mother has just started a new mosque in Copenhagen, Denmark known as ‘Mariam Mosque’.
Mosque Is Operated By Female Imams
Khankan recently spoke to Danish newspaper Politiken dubbing the project a feminist project. It is run entirely by women and is open to both men and women. According to Khankan, she started the mosque because she never felt at home in other mosques that are dominated by males.
I have never felt at home in the existing mosques. The new grand mosques are unbelievably beautiful, but I have the feeling of being a stranger when I am there. We women stand up in the balcony and look down on what is happening. Many women and young people don’t even go into the mosques as you enter into a male-dominated and patriarchal space in which a man has the floor, a man leads prayers, men are in focus and dominate. That is why we are now setting up a mosque on women’s terms. – Khankan
The Mosque Will Ease Traditional Islam Vs Modern Islam
Khankan believes that her mosque for women will bridge the gap between traditional and the recent more modern version of the faith. It will mostly related to young worshippers.
Many imams in this country belong to the traditional school which does not account for the culture we live in. Instead, they help to construct contradictions between being a practicing Muslim and a young person in Denmark. But you can love and honour several cultures and influences at once without betraying one or the other camp
Mosque Has Support From The Islamic Community Except A Few
The overall reaction to Sherin Khankan’s project has been positive especially from the muslim community. However, there are still some people who oppose the idea of a mosque that is for women.
This particular negative response came from Waseem Hussein, the chairman of Danish Islamic Center which is one of the larger mosques in Denmark. He clearly said to a local newspaper that there is no need for a women’s mosque.
Hussain believes that women aren’t supposed to be in mosques. He also believes that the project won’t lead to any bridging gaps between the traditional and modern Islam like Khankan puts it.
They can do what they want to do, but their theological reference is wrong. Why should there be a specific need just for women? Are we also to create mosques only for men? That would cause an outcry within the Danish population – Imam Hussein