‘Mosque committees should be more inclusive’


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POSITIVE: Imam at Leeds Makkah Masjid, Qari Asim, says he would rather see more inclusive places in Britain, rather than men-only and women-only spaces

POSITIVE: Imam at Leeds Makkah Masjid, Qari Asim, says he would rather see more inclusive places in Britain, rather than men-only and women-only spaces

Discussions continue into concept of women-led mosque

As dialogue continues into the prospective development of the UK’s first women-led mosque, a Leeds Imam has called on more managing committees to work harder to promote inclusivity.

Qari Asim, of the Makkah Masjid, was one of the invited speakers at the Muslim Women’s Council’s (MWC) consultation evening last weekend, held to discuss the pioneering concept for a place of worship.

Accepting that there is a ‘lack of women’ currently involved in the running of mosques, he said the idea for a women-led, all-inclusive model could be one that works.

“There is a misconception regarding what the women-led place of worship will be like in Bradford,” he said.

“It will not be an inclusive place just for women but will instead just be run and managed by women.

“The imam will be a man and it will be open to all men and women. There is absolutely no issue regarding this type of committee, in fact we need to do more to promote women in our committees.

“They are a vital part of our society and institutions must reflect this.”

The women-led mosque was first mentioned during the MWC’s Daughters of Eve event last month, with plans and further consultations carried out since.

Qari Asim added that he did not view the ‘model’ as the only possible concept but accepted it could be one which paved the way for future discussions.

“I am not saying this is the correct way to do it but it is one model and we should see how it works,” he said.

“I hope that last weekend’s consultation will result in more inclusive spaces in the city and in Britain rather than men-only and women-only spaces.

“It will not happen overnight but we do need to work on making our mosques more inclusive.”

Describing the current representation on governing bodies as ‘non-existent’ CEO of the MWC, Bana Gora added that the place would also create ‘a safe place for all women’.

“[We] found that the services offered by mosques were not always adequate for women,” she said. “Rather than just complain, we decided to do something about it.”

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