Female to lead Jumu’ah prayer in the UK

I just had a call from the BBC Asian Network saying that Taj Hargey’s MECO outfit is inviting a lady from the US over to lead Friday prayers in Oxford this Friday. I understand that it is not Amina Wadud this time but someone else.

Eighteen months ago, Hargey pulled the same media stunt and managed to rope in gullible hacks from the BBC, the Times and the Independent to cover this ‘unique’ event. Ummah Pulse reviewed the entire episode wonderfully here.

Religious correspondents are of course familiar with the great schism that the ordination of female priests caused in the Church of England and lazily expect the same sort of division and outrage among UK Muslims concerning female Imams. Thankfully, UK Muslims can easily recognise a cheap publicity stunt when they see one.

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2 Responses to Female to lead Jumu’ah prayer in the UK

  1. Asim says:

    I don’t believe it was a media stunt. Taj Hargey and Amina Wadud genuinely believe that such female Imams are permissible. If anyone disagrees with them they can argue with them. We must allow people to have the freedom to arrive at their own theological interpretations of Islam.

    I don’t have any objection to female Imams. Let them be. We must maintain a free society – including freedom of religion.

  2. Here’s the wiki definition of a media stunt: ‘A publicity stunt is a planned event designed to attract the public’s attention to the event’s organizers or their cause.’

    I am sure that Amina Wadud genuinely believes that female imams are allowed to lead men in prayer. That does not mean that Hargey is not staging a publicity stunt. The last time he tried this only seven men turned up. See the Ummah Pulse link I referred to above. The guy has form in this area. The overwhelming majority of Muslims in Oxford clearly disapprove of Hargey and his antics.

    As for ‘letting them be’ and maintaining freedom of religion – I totally agree. But who do you think is stopping them? Pointing out that it is all a silly media stunt is also utilising a freedom – freedom of speech.

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