Hockey Board

The men at the Mosque decide that the women are too distracting even though they sit behind them during congregations. The men decide to put up an old board from a hockey arena to seperate the two genders.

From our experience, it seems that a Mosque goes through phases where at some point the barrier discussion encourages displeasure. We had a white-board acting as a divider in the beginning phases and now we have a full-fledged curtain that traverses across the room. A door was installed as a seperate entrance to the women’s area.

Some of the women were not too happy with the idea while other women applauded it.

What do you have as a divider?

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21 Comments

Filed under Episode 2

21 responses to “Hockey Board

  1. farida

    Mashallah, we were able to purchase an adjacent property for the women with all amenities self-contained.

  2. habib

    Our women sit one floor above us.

  3. sara

    Our Mosque has multiple levels as well and the women sit one floor directly above the men.

  4. jas

    The Masjid we are at is fairly new and the women site directly behind the men with no dividers. It was a community hall before. I’m sure the dividers will go up soon.

  5. I am Catholic, and at one time men and women sat on opposite sides of the church in Eastern Europe at least. I do have a question, if there’s no theological reason to have dividers, why do some mosques have them? I mean Muslim women usually dress modestly right? They are sitting behind the men, so why the dividers?
    In the church where I go, you see a lot of variation of how women dress for church. Some women are starting to adopt my manner of dress, which is fairly conservative, I wear long skirts,at least I 3quarter lenth sleeves, and cover my hair, because that is the example of the Virgin Mary.
    When I lived in Mexico, most respectable, educated and intellectual women who were Mexican patriots dressed that way whether or not they were religious. So did women who were poor, only a certain element of the middle class took on American fashions.
    When my family returned to the States I found the American manner of dress unattractive, and un-ladylike. As soon as I had ANY control over these matters I began to cover more. I occasionally was harrassed over this, and I’d just show the people who harrassed me 1st Corintians! and then I’d ask them ‘Did the Virgin Mary wear short skirts? Did she wear tight pants?’ and that usually was good enough.

  6. Katja,

    I’m in agreement with you! I think that women in the mosque dress modestly and sit behind the men … there is no need for a physical divider.

    I love how you can relate Catholicism to Islam… and good for you for sticking up for your modest dress. Many Christians make such an issue about muslim women covering their heads… it is nice to see that someone noticed that Mary did the same… I also like to point out Mother Theresa when the issue is brought up.

  7. Mother Theresa is an EXCELLENT illustration of this point, especially in our modern times when many nuns wear short hair, and no head covering.
    In the time of Jesus, and in the time of St. Paul, short hair on women was a mark of shame, and disrepute, hair was cut as a punishment, for prostitutes and women who consorted with foreign soldiers in the Holy Land.

    St. Paul when he said that women praying and prophesieing had to either cover their hair or have it shorn was really in no uncertain terms stating that women needed to cover their hair, that it was not a choice, but a requirement and in his time no respectable woman cut off her hair.

    Nowadays, given that short hair is not a mark of shamemerely another fashion choice, people in the Christian world have lost the true meaning of St. Paul’s words.

    Mother Theresa was an Albanian Catholic, and was born in Skoplje, Macedonia, and I don’t need to tell anyone who knows their history, that this is in the Balkans, an area of the world where Christians and Muslims have lived side by side for 500 years.

  8. John

    Putting up a divider is ridicules especially if women already pray behind men. If the men are distracted by the presence of women even if they don’t see them then that’s their problem and they just have to deal with it. The world is full of women, and if you can’t deal with fully covered women behind you while praying how are you going to deal with the amount of flesh you see in the world outside?

  9. Krista

    That is one thing I’ve never understood about Islam. I can understand wanting both the men and the women to respect their bodies and dress modestly, but it seems as though women have to cover up even more, or be behind barriers, so as to not “distract” or “tempt” the men. And yet, men do not have to make as many concessions so as to not distract or tempt the women. Why is it that the women are made to bear responsibility for a man’s inability to control his eyes or his urges? This just seems very unfair to me.

  10. Sara:

    Thank you for the link. It is very informative and offers a historical perspective as well.

  11. Krista

    Okay, so it’s more to make sure that the men and the women don’t accidentally mix while praying then, from what I gather. The physical barrier, not the visual barrier, is the point. Am I getting it right?

  12. Habib

    Krista:

    Yes, the barrier is just a seperator if it makes it easier for the congregation from inadvertently mixing. It isn’t required. The article describes the case where the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH)prayed without any barriers. The curtain, dividers, etc. may have been a cultural introduction where women began to come to the mosque dressed inappropriately.

  13. Afzalun

    My cousin asked me about the barrier and if it is essential to women equality…and my only remark is… if there was a baboon on the ceiling of the mosque, for whatever reason, a blinking light bulb or even a bee buzzing around, it would cause a distraction to the people praying…no matter what the distraction, individuals should be in peace and calmness when praying because it is thier time with god. Thus, if there are ways in which we are able to diminish the amount of distractions, then go for it. Why does everything have to be political and about gender equality? Why can’t people just have some common sense and stop making issues of things that are of very little concern. Why not put that effort towards providing salvation to the poor?

  14. Bronwen

    If the barrier is merely to avoid distraction (presumably for both genders equally) it seems to me a reasonable response would be to have the barrier run from the front of the mosque to the back, with equal space for women and men on both sides. I believe this is what is done in many synagogues that still observe segragation between men and women at services (although not all — in more orthodox Jewish communities women may also be hidden from view in separate rooms).

    If the barrier divided the prayer space from left to right, rather than from back to front, it would allow the women a more equal chance to participate in worship in terms of hearing the khutbah and seeing the person deliver it, as well as clearly hearing and seeing the person leading the prayers.

    I am inclined to agree, however, with those who say that if you are in the proper mindset for prayer in the first place, it should not distract you merely to be able to see another member of the opposite gender.

  15. Mona

    In my mosque, the prayer room is divided, but the divider is not a full one – you can see over it (it comes halfway up to a person if they are standing next to it). And the room is divided from the minbar to the doors in the back. The men pray on one side and the women pray on the other side, but they are standing side by side, the women do not stand beside the men.

    The divider was a compromise when the mosque was first built in the 1980s. Some people thought we should have a full divider or a separate room for women, and some people were against the divider and thought men should just pray in front. And some people thought that either of those options would suggest that Islam denigrates women. So we have a unique divider that retains the equality of men and women in Islam, and is still comfortable to most people who want a divider.

  16. Anela

    In one of our mosques, there is a 5 foot barrier between the men and the women. Whenever there is a speaker (e.g. Friday sermon, Ramadan, Eid, etc.) the women weren’t paying attention because the microphone system wasn’t the very best and they couldn’t see the speaker. A newer (more open minded) mosque that we now go to has an open concept where men pray at the front and women behind. It is working out great because the women can SEE the speakers and pay more attention.

  17. Rezia

    I’ve missed the first episode of the new season 😦
    Please can someone tell me where I can see it? I absolutely love this show!

  18. Saudia

    I missed it too—was doing my Ramadan praying. Gee…too bad it started in Ramadan ..is that a good thing or a bad thing? Last season, the same episode ran twice in a week. Can someone tell us when it will run again?

  19. Gail

    If you have questions about air times for Little Mosque, call CBC audience relations.

    Have a Blessed Ramadan

    Gail

  20. sadia

    almost all episodes are on YouTube… search for user asifnana or just search under “Little Mosque on the Prairie” 🙂

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