Faith and Feminism: Is it possible?

By Bella Filacuridi

Sherin Khankan founded the first female-led mosque in Copenhagen and is one of the two female imams at the Mariam mosque. Khankan is a key advocate for feminism in muslim faith and believes that gender equality and feminist can coexist with muslim identity and faith, despite it being a highly patriarchal dominated religion. She says, “It’s possible – my activism says it all.”

In relation to the Burqa Ban, Khankan holds the same belief as Rachid Nekkaz, she personally does not believe it is the most appropriate means of expressing one’s faith, however she believes in the freedom of choice. She says, “I disagree with the ban, it is a violation of human rights, it denies freedom of religious expression and freedom of choice.”

Khankan goes on to say that she does not have any women in her mosque who practice with the niqab or burqa. “A study was conducted and less than 200 women wear the niqab in Denmark, and less than 10 wear the Burqa,” she states.

These incredibly low figures are surprising due to the degree of attention this ban has received on a national and inter-country scale. She admits, “In a way it is manipulating a conflict that is almost not existing, its part of a threat argument… these are policies being made on feelings and fear rather than logic and the protection of human rights.”

Khankan practices Friday prayers at the Mariam mosque and continues to be a trailblazer in Islamic feminism.

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Sherin Khankan / Telefon: 51700393