written by Theresa Corbin
Here on islamwich, we talk a lot about how too many mosques are not what they are meant to be.
Mostly mosques around the world are cultural clubs who marginalize or even do disservice to converts, or they make women feel unwelcome by only providing dingy closets for us pray in, or they have banned women entirely, or they are openly racist towards any arbitrary group they choose, or they don’t welcome non-Muslims, or all of the above … and more.
All of this mess is not from Islam. The mosque is meant to be for all: women, men, young, old, and people from all cultures, countries, colors. It is supposed to be a place to learn, to hang out, to enjoy each other’s company, to share meals, to pray, to supplicate to God, to foster volunteer and outreach programs, to build interfaith bridges, and more.
But many of our mosques (specifically those in charge of these mosques) have miserably failed in serving their purpose. Some mosques only welcome the ultra pious, older male crowd who come from the “right” part of the world. And it is a flipping tragedy!
I don’t take exclamation points lightly, y’all! But I am using them here! Because anger!
With all that being said and exclamated (sorry I yelled), there are mosques (because of the amazing people in charge, by the will of Allah) that are fulfilling their roll.
The doors of these mosques are open wide and the admin are welcoming to one and all, including women and converts, people of all colors, cultures, and backgrounds, pious and struggling, Muslim and non-Muslims, without marginalizing or judging anyone, and without putting anyone behind a curtain/barrier (which is a biddah, y’all -religious innovation-meaning it just was not done by the Prophet (PBUH) or even by his companions).
The Pink Mosque Project is one initiative that is taking down the barriers and re-mosque-ing the community at large. A convert in Houston, Brother Hamza Bui, is taking the initiative to build such a mosque with this pink mosque project.
If you are in the Houston area, you need to check out the Galleria Area Jumuah for Friday prayer (see flyer for details). If you are not in Houston, please leave us a comment letting us know where in your area is a mosque that is open to all, serves its function in the community, and is barrier free.
I am starting a list of these mosques whose admin are welcoming and benefiting the community at large. These mosques are pink mosques. Why pink? The color has a psychological affect. It promotes tolerance and patience in humans and encourages kindness and love. And we need to promote and celebrate that. Please leave a comment so we can add your #PinkMosque to the list.
Houston, TX: Galleria Area Jumuah
Memphis, TN: Memphis Islamic Center
Wishing you all a beautiful Friday (Jumuah)
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