Kosovo Women as Spiritual Teachers in Mosques

Pristina: (Kosovo): There’s a widespread tradition among many Muslims that it’s better for women to pray at home than in the mosque. But in Kosovo, an old Ottoman-era tradition is bucking that trend, with religious authorities seeking to establish the training of women as spiritual teachers in mosques. Each day, scores of women gather around Agime Sogojeva, a spiritual teacher known as a mualime, in the Haxhi Veseli mosque in Kosovo’s northern town of Mitrovica. They discuss the Quran, their rights as women and daily practices, in a scene unthinkable as little as a decade ago. Sogojeva is one of some 100 female theologians aiming to revive Muslim traditions in Europe’s newest country. They teach at three Muslim high schools, at Muslim centers, or they work voluntarily. In Kosovo, there has been a significant increase in the number of women attending mosques in the past 20 years, said Besa Ismaili, a 43-year-old professor of English at the Faculty of Islamic Studies in Pristina. “The women were not only denied access, but their contribution was not recognized sufficiently,” she said. “We try to break up those stereotypes, those misconceptions.”
(Extracted from startribune.com)

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