The planned March 18 woman-led traditional Friday prayers—hailed as an historic first for Islam—have been moved from a Soho art gallery to an undisclosed location where they will be open to an invitation-only list following a slate of death threats. One anonymous message to the gallery threatened to "blow you up." The prayers are to be led by Amina Wadud, author of Qur’an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman’s Perspective, who remains defiant: "If there really exists a threat to my life, if my intentions and my heart remain focused on Allah, then I couldn’t die in a better state. Life and death are not mine to determine."
Event organizer Asra Nomani of Muslim Wake Up!, author of Standing Alone in Mecca, said: "This is the way that extremists try to shut us up and stop women’s progress. Bascially, we’re undeterred, but we want to protect everybody’s safety. If you can’t protect women’s rights in America, then where?" (Newsday, March 13)
See our last post on the dilemmas of contemporary Islam.