Muslimah Writers Alliance Grand Mosque Equal Access for Women Project sign now

As I/we feel certain you are aware, the religion of Islam was revealed for both men and women. Both sexes are equal when it comes to the performance religious duties and in terms of rewards and punishments.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also instructed that women must not be banned from mosques.

Yet it has come to my/our attention that a committee in Makkah has proposed to restrict the prayers of women and limit the areas where they can pray in the Grand Mosque.

Whatever the reasoning behind such a proposal, we cannot seriously present to the world the idea that the presence of women in the innermost area of the Haram is any less disturbing to worshippers and visitors than the presence of men!

Neither would we dare to presume that the prayers of men are somehow better than those of women.

And yet the best proposal that can be offered by a panel of men comprised of representatives from the Makkah Governorate, the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques Affairs, and the King Fahd Institute for Haj Research, is to eliminate the presence of women altogether.

Would there be any harm in considering the addition of selected women for the panel, or a proposed resolution from a woman?

As it happens, Hatoon Al-Fassi, a Saudi writer and historian based in Riyadh, offered a counter-proposal in her Arab News published article of August 30.
(http://www.arabnews.com/?page=7&section=0&article=78202&d=30&m=8&y=2006&pix=opinion.jpg&category=Opinion)

Ms. Al-Fassi stated, "In order to allow women to pray in the Grand Mosque in the proper manner, let us allocate a special area for them beginning from the Kaaba and ending at masaa (the running area between Safa and Marwa). The width of this area could be determined based on field studies conducted by the Haj Research Institute on the number of women who come to pray at the mosque. If this were done, the equality of sexes promulgated by Islam would be achieved.

"It would also protect women from prejudice and ensure that no men prayed behind them. Moreover, women would be able to pray in comfort, sit closer to the Kaaba and achieve maximum devotion and closeness to God."

I/we reiterate the request of Ms. Al-Fassi, that her suggestion be considered with open hearts and minds.

Alternatively the panel could be allowed to re-convene with the addition of female representation.

Surely a proposal such as the one currently on the table cannot be accepted as a final, as it is, indeed, a violation of the spirit and message of Islam that was sent for all of humanity without any discrimination.

May Allah guide us all. Amin.

PETITIONERS INTERESTED IN ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THE MUSLIMAH WRITER'S ALLIANCE GRAND MOSQUE EQUAL ACCESS FOR WOMEN (GMEA4W) PROJECT ARE INVITED TO VISIT THE CAMPAIGN'S WEBSITE.
http://www.muslimahwritersalliance.com/MWA-GMEA4W/Home.html

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Darren LevineBy:
Nature and EnvironmentIn:
Petition target:
King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and Panel Members from the Makkah Governorate, the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques Affairs, and the King Fahd Institute for Haj Research proposing to prohibit women from praying inside the

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