| Islam in Morgantown & Beyond | Post 9/11 | Reclaiming Women's Rights |

The Penn (Indiana, PA): Feminist Muslim Speaks on Dogma

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Posted on March 24, 2006

Mother Jones: Outfront

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Posted on December 21, 2005

MotherJones.com: Mohammad was a feminis

December 19, 2005

"Mohammed was a Feminist"
Asra Nomani takes her reform message beyond the United States.

By April Dembosky

When Asra Nomani became the first woman in her mosque in West Virginia to insist on her right to pray in the male-only main hall, she invited a barrage of criticism from Islamic leaders. But her actions also got her invited to the first International Congress on Islamic Feminism, held in October 2005 in Barcelona.

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Posted on December 19, 2005

Seattle Times: Islam in America

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Islam in America, the present and future
By James Vesely, Seattle Times staff columnist

Today, these editorial pages begin a series of comments and opinions on Islam in America, the rise of the religion, what is happening to its followers and why every American should understand the basic tenets of the three founding religions of the Middle East.

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Posted on December 11, 2005

Verve Online: Taking on an Extremist World

Photograph by Josette Youssef

Taking on an Extremist World
By Rukhmini Punoose
Volume 13, Issue 5, September-October, 2005

It goes beyond being a mere documentation of two poignant events. Writer, Asra Nomani's latest book, Standing Alone in Mecca: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam, has proved both a personal and social turning point, creating no mean furore among fundamentalist Islamist circles. Rukhmini Punoose meets the former Wall Street Journal reporter in New York.

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Posted on November 15, 2005

The Valley Catholic Newsletter: Muslim's story provides perspective on women in the Church

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Posted on August 16, 2005

Chico Enterprise-Record: Death threat traced to Chico, California

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Posted on August 11, 2005

PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer: 'We are in a war within Islam'

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Posted on August 4, 2005

Reuters: 'Leading Islamic groups...are telling their followers that it's time to make mosques more open to women'

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Posted on June 29, 2005

Los Angeles Times: 'Breaching the Wall at Prayer'

FORCE FOR CHANGE: Asra Nomani caused a stir at a mosque by stepping over the partition and sitting with the men for prayers. Azmeralda Alfi tried to make her leave, but she stood her ground. (Francine Orr/LATimes)
Copyright © 2005, The Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times
June 27, 2005
Breaching the Wall at Prayer
By Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

On a recent Friday, a veiled woman entered a crowded Los Angeles mosque and surveyed the scene. In the front, a few hundred men waited for the call to prayer. In the back, women and children sat in a separate area behind tinted glass.

With barely a pause, Asra Nomani made her choice. Defying age-old Islamic traditions, she stepped over a low partition, sat with the men — and kicked off a furor.

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Posted on June 27, 2005

Washington Post: 'She won't be shutting up'

The Washington Post
Sunday, June 5, 2005
The Woman Who Went To the Front of the Mosque
Feminist Faces Ostracism -- or Worse -- for Praying Among Men
By Teresa Wiltz, Washington Post Staff Writer

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. It was two days after she appeared on "Nightline" talking about her fight to change her mosque that the death threats began. The first call came on her cell phone. The caller left a message, in Urdu: "If you want to stay alive, keep your mouth shut." Otherwise, he said, he would "slaughter" her, halal style, saying a prayer as he slid a knife across her throat. If she didn't shut up, he'd slaughter her mother and her father, too. Think before you speak, he said. I know where you live. I know where your parents live.

Then he called her parents' home 10 minutes later. Just to reinforce the message.

It's not a message that Asra Nomani, Muslim, unwed mother, former Wall Street Journal reporter, author and left-leaning feminist, is planning to heed (although she did contact the FBI and her local police). Yes, she's started locking her doors now, a rarity for her here in her hilly home town. But she won't be shutting up, definitely not, never.

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Posted on June 05, 2005

'Muslim feminists can no longer be written away as morally corrupt women'

Diplomatic Traffic
The rise of Islamist feminism

Saad S. Khan
May 27, 2005

Friday, the 18th of March, 2005, shall be remembered as a watershed in the Islamic discourse on the role of woman in religious life, as the first-ever Friday congregation was led by a Muslim woman scholar that day.

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Posted on May 27, 2005

April 22, 2005, Toronto, Canada: 'We did it' -- A woman-led Friday prayer in a sun-drenched backyard

Woman leads mixed-gender prayer

Backyard gathering of Muslims crosses 'another threshold of conservativism'

Saturday, April 23, 2005
Special to The Globe and Mail

For Raheel Raza, becoming the first Muslim woman in Canada to lead publicly announced prayer was awe-inspiring, a "silent revolution." And while the gathering of more than 20 men and women yesterday in the backyard of a home in Toronto's Cabbagetown was small, the importance of the event was not lost on the worshippers.

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Posted on April 23, 2005

Newsline, Pakistan: 'Social justice is not an issue of popularity contests'

Newsline (Karachi, Pakistan)
April 2005

"There is a fundamental flaw in interpretations of sharia that say a woman or man should be punished for sex outside of marriage"
- Asra Nomani,

Author and Journalist
By Shimaila Matri Dawood

Q: You organised the first ever Muslim Friday prayer service of a mixed congregation led by a female Imam, Dr Amina Wadud, at Synod House at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, an Episcopal church in Manhattan. Why was a church chosen for this historic occasion?

A: When the art gallery had to back out because of fears of a bomb threat, I searched the city for an alternative venue. St. John the Divine is known as a place of worship that respects people of all faiths. They even have a Muslim prayer rug in their main sanctuary. When I called a coordinator there, she said she could offer the spacious Synod House. I asked: "Why are you helping us?" She answered: "Why not?"And that is truly the attitude we need to embrace in order to overcome fear and advance as a Muslim world.

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Posted on April 13, 2005

UPI, Anwar Iqbal: Muslim women bring prayers to Washington

Muslim women bring prayers to Washington

Friday, April 8, 2005
By Anwar Iqbal, UPI South Asian Affairs Analyst

Washington, DC (UPI) -- Two women -- one of them a veteran campaigner and the other a novice -- prayed beside men Friday in Washington's Islamic Center, the hub of America's Muslim community.

"It felt so beautiful," said Rahat Khan, a tax accountant from Maryland. "I was really proud and pleased to see all these Muslim men, creating space for us."

Khan, new in this campaign for demanding equal rights for women inside the mosque, almost turned away from the door of the Islamic Center in Washington's diplomatic enclave. "I told Asra I may not go in but I did," she said, referring to Asra Nomani, the woman who started the campaign about three years ago from a mosque in Morgantown, W. Va.

"Last night, I was afraid. Today it felt very nice," said Khan who met first met Nomani last week but was not willing to go to the mosque with her until Thursday night and was having second thoughts when they arrived at the mosque Friday afternoon. Her desire for regaining the equal status that she believes Islam has given her, but has been denied to her by Muslim men, overcame her fear.

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Posted on April 8, 2005

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