A new mosque was launched in Toronto on Friday with the core concept of for women by women.
“What we’re doing here today is really re-asserting that women have a role in faith and they have a role in faith leadership,” said Rev. Dr. Cheri DiNovo.
Founder Farheen Khan said the idea has been a long time coming. The group welcomed not only Muslim women but also members of communities from across the Greater Toronto Area.
“We’ve been talking about this for a number of years. I’ve had conversations with lots of different women and imams and community members to say ‘is this something we can do?’ and there’s always been mixed reaction,” she said.
“Just generally speaking, I think we needed to take that step and just start.”
Cynthia Levine-Rasky was among those in attendance. She is the co-founder of Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, an organization that strives to nurture relationships between Muslim and Jewish women.
According to their website, their mandate revolves around building bridges and fighting hate. It also states that they currently have 150 chapters.
“Maybe this is the beginning of opening up those spaces and opening up the possibility for Muslim women to feel more comfortable in their places of worship, to make their own spaces,” said Levine-Rasky.
“To define themselves and the nature of their participation and do it together in safe ways. And as sisters.”
Farheen Khan told Global News that going forward, they will aim to hold prayers every other week and try to amass a congregation by travelling around the Greater Toronto Area.
Her eventual goal is to launch a campaign to raise funds for a mosque, which will serve as a permanent place to worship.