• Dispatches Women Only Jihad (UK). Trailer http://www.veoh.com/watch/v2381067BQsqDBR
A documentary following the dramatic story of MPACUK’s campaign for women’s rights in the mosques. While women have always worshipped at the holy mosques at Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem, around 60% of British Mosques totally exclude women. And only a handful allow women a real say in decision-making. Never before has a Muslim group openly challenged this situation and demanded that the example of the Prophet (PBUH), giving women full access to the mosques, must be followed in 21st Century Britain. Muslim sisters in MPACUK, supported by our brothers, have been taking this call to mosque leaders and the public – in phone calls and meetings, and with leaflets and petitions. We’ve had mosque doors slammed in our faces and even had eggs thrown at us for simply raising this issue. But we’ve also found huge support from the Muslim public in backing petitions for women’s access to our mosques. Women’s empowerment within the mosques is an essential strand in MPACUK’s vision for our mosques as grassroots institutions, fulfilling their role as active centres for the whole community – rather than mere prayer halls or men’s clubs. A new generation of young, educated Muslim women is taking up this challenge, and Channel 4’s Dispatches documentary will offer a unique insight into the changing dynamics of our communities.
• Me and the Mosque (Canada)
Me and the Mosque by Zarqa Nawaz, National Film Board of Canada
Using original animation, archival footage and personal interviews, this full-length documentary portrays the multiple relationships Canadian Muslim women entertain with Islam’s place of worship, the mosque. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. In North America, a large number of converts are women. Many are drawn to the religion because of its emphasis on social justice and spiritual equality between the sexes. Yet, many mosques force women to pray behind barriers, separate from men, and some do not even permit women to enter the building. Exploring all sides of the issue, the film examines the space – both physical and social – granted to women in mosques across the country.