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Ray
29 Aug 06,, 20:19
Daily Times, Lahore, Pakistan

Tuesday, August 29, 2006 E-Mail this article to a friend Printer Friendly Version

New Islamic woman leader ineligible to lead prayers


WASHINGTON: Although the largest Muslim group in North America has chosen a woman as its next president, she will still not be allowed to lead congregational prayers.

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which begins its annual conference in Chicago this weekend, chose Ingrid Mattson, a Canadian convert to Islam and an Islamic law scholar at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut, as its president for the next two years on Friday. ISNA Secretary General Sayyid Syeed said on Monday that Ms Mattson would only lead ritual worship “for women,” ruling out her entitlement to lead prayers as an imam. ISNA is an orthodox and conservative group, sympathetic to puritanical interpretations of Islam.

By way of reassurance, Syeed added, “That does not in any way limit her role as president.” He said an ISNA president was rarely called upon to lead prayers. It was, however, quite clear that if such an occasion was to arise, the new president will not be able to stand at the head of a congregation at prayer time. The ISNA was established as an umbrella group for various Muslim organisations across the US and Canada. khalid hasan



One step forward and two step back.

Rather unfortunate since the expatriates were more liberal and forward looking and were a good positive influence to the back home types.