On/File: A Continuing Record of People, Groups, Movements, and Events Impacting Religion

Mariam Mosque in Copenhagen, Denmark, is among the first Muslim houses of worship to be led entirely by female imams, or worship leaders. Sherin Khankan, a well-known author and political commentator in Denmark, founded the mosque in February. She criticizes the traditional pattern of segregating a mosque according to male or female worshippers, claiming that many women are discouraged from attending prayer services because they view the mosque as a male-dominated space. Women’s mosques have existed in China for several hundred years, but they have only appeared in the West recently, with another recent one started in Los Angeles in 2015. The Danish mosque will be open to men on most days except for during Friday prayers. Khankan calls the mosque a “feminist project” that she started because she “never felt at home in the existing mosques.” (Source: Huffington Post, February 16)