Women everywhere are breaking out from the shadows of oppression and subjugation in the misogynist world. They are now in the era of self-discovery marking the beginning of an all new epoch filled with success stories of women across the world. They no longer are confined to the four walls of their homes forbidden to venture out in male dominated societies. Women today are filled with new zeal to swim in the unknown waters to create and leave a mark behind. One such woman who is creating a buzz in Denmark is Sherin Khankan who has delved in the most sensitive field of all-Religion. Her work has given big boost to the fight against male imperialism in temples, mosques and other places of worship where women are forbidden.
About Sherin Khankan
Sherin Khankan belongs to Denmark. After completing her Masters in Sociology of Religion and Philosophy from the University of Copenhagen, she specialized in contemporary Islamic activism in Europe and Middle East. She plays diverse roles in real life. She is a teacher, activist, columnist and public speaker. Khankan is the founder and head of the first and only organization in Denmark that promotes female Muslim leadership – Critical Muslims founded in 2001. Sherin also founded Face to Face, a counseling service for Muslim women. She is former candidate for the Parliament, for the Party Radical Left. She has written books, have contributed in several anthologies and the list goes on.
Challenging the patriarchal structures
Now Sherin is ready to enter the patriarchal world and challenge them. She is starting a women-led mosque. Yes!! You read it right. The prayers in the Maryam mosque will be conducted by female imams. Men will also be allowed in the mosque except Friday prayers.
Reactions to Sherin’s Pivotal Act
Sherin has got all positive response from the city’s Muslim community, some even lauding her effort to break the ramshackle of centuries old custom. The breeze of change met some resistance too. With Imam Waseem Hussein, who chairs one of Copenhagen’s biggest mosques, questioning about the need for such a mosque. He said “Should we also make a mosque only for men? Then there would certainly be an outcry among the Danish population.”
Negating all the rumors related to keeping location of the mosque a secret due to security threats Sherin Khankan quoted, “We haven’t received any threats whatsoever.” The dates for the first Friday prayers will be announced as soon as they find another eight imams in addition to two currently involved imams.
We need more of such activists like Sherin to hold the torch and lead our fraternity to zenith of success. Women need to challenge themselves in order to attain the true meaning of Women Empowerment. Let’s hold hands together to make each other empowered!