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June 27, 2006

They Say This Mosque is a Jewel, But How Would I Know?

By Joanne McEwan Staff writer – IslamOnline Enter the mosque of “Al Dhahar Baybars Al Jashenqir” in Gammaliyya, Historic Cairo, and you will feel solitude, peace and refuge from the dust, overcrowded streets and a vociferous thoroughfare of Vespas. The courtyard has a breeze of mysterious origins. How in this hot summer does it happen to be a haven from the heat of the sun? Birds nest above in the cloisters and the odd stray cat lazes about in the shade. Some elderly men are reading the Qur’an as they wait for the prayer to begin. It is a serene mosque with modest decoration and without any gaudy embellishments. But as it is time for prayer I, as a woman, have to step behind this musty curtain and my view of this modest masterpiece is blocked. Its unique cool microclimate has now changed to a stale claustrophobic one. (continued…) Direct Link See Also: CAIRO — The removal of a wall separating male and female worshipers at San Francisco's largest downtown mosque left its 400-member congregation split down the middle. "It's one of those cultural things that many immigrants brought from overseas without giving it much thought," Souleiman Ghali, a founding member of the Islamic Society of San Francisco, told The New York Times on Sunday, June 25. "I am positive there will be an American Islamic identity that is separate from what you see in the Middle East and the rest of the Islamic world," he said. The debate raged after the slapdash, 8-foot wall across the back of the Darussalam mosque was demolished. "It's time to get rid of those bad habits," said Ghali, who was the main force behind the wall's removal. (continued…) See Also: Partitions in the Mosque What Do You Know About Women in Islam? Test Your Knowledge Here

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