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Religion and Belief
Downtown L.A. mosque imagines empowered role for Muslim women
Downtown L.A. mosque imagines empowered role for Muslim women

The women sit on their knees, watching intently as a slightly sheepish sister in a pink head scarf crosses the beige floor and approaches the dais. After a moment, her jitters are gone and, in a booming voice, she recites the Islamic call to prayer. In what may have been a unique moment in America, more than 100 women gathered Friday at the interfaith Pico-Union Project. While many mosques continue to follow a tradition of separating women from male congregants, the downtown Los Angeles mosque forbids men from attending. Female-only mosques may exist in China, Chile and India, but Muslim leaders say this could be the first in the U.S. The inaugural prayer Friday marked the launch of...

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