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Town Hall Questions The Role Of Women In Mosques

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By Asma Khalid

A group of Muslim activists want to end gender segregation in mosques. Earlier this year, women marched into the men's prayer hall at the Islamic Center in Washington. The women say they want men and women to pray in the same room. Many Islamic scholars say women did pray in the same space as men during the Prophet Muhammad's time.

But these days the issue brings up heated debate.

At a town hall on gender relations in the mosque, one woman likens the separation to apartheid South Africa.

Raabia Ahmed says barging into a mosque isn't the right tactic.

"It doesn't have to be, 'we're just going to bogart our way in just because nobody's listening,'" she says. "Sometimes it takes time."

Ahmed says more town halls like this is what the Muslim community needs, even though she prefers praying in a separate room.

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