Don’t Call It a Mosque

From women-only congregations to the Tumblr Imam, a new generation of Muslim Americans is practicing Islam their own way.

If you had told me, five or 10 years ago, that in the near future I’d find myself standing among an all-female Muslim congregation in a former synagogue-turned-multifaith space in East Los Angeles, I would have had trouble believing you. Five years ago, the idea of a women-only mosque seemed like an impossibility—the kind of project that would suffer far harsher criticism than it was worth.

But just last month, I prayed my Friday prayers as the California sunlight streamed in through stained-glass windows bearing the Star of David, standing side by side with other Muslim women from all over Los Angeles County. Edina Lekovic, a representative from the Muslim Public Affairs Council and a prominent public figure in the local Muslim community, offered the Women’s Mosque of America its inaugural sermon, or “khutbah,” standing at a podium between two banners bearing the name of God and his Prophet, Mohammad.

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