A Recent Conversation Between Two MSA Board Members
Person A: For Friday prayers, the idea of women praying behind men is offensive. It’s a grave injustice that needs to be rectified.
Person B: So what do you propose?
A: The men’s area side by side with the women’s area.
B: But then, we know that the right (al-yamin) is favored. So that means whichever gender is on the right side has the advantage. That’s not fair either.
A: So then maybe we should do boy-girl order or create a free for all where people can pray wherever they want regardless of gender. Wouldn’t that be the most egalitarian?
B: Well, no, because the imam is still a man.
A: So we’ll be sure to have female imams.
B: But then what about the transgendered or even the non-gendered? Where is their representation?
A: Well, we can have a rotating schedule of imams across all genders.
B: Sounds good. But we are still facing Mecca. Doesn’t that privilege Saudi Arabia over all other countries and races?
A: Good point. We should rotate the qibla every week.
B. Also the prayer itself is in Arabic. Won’t that trigger or otherwise traumatize non-Arabs?
A: Right again. We need to make sure the imam recites in a variety of languages.
B. And sign language.
A: Of course.
B: All this sounds great, but at the end of the day, the Friday prayer is a Muslim practice and we are praying to Allah. Doesn’t that exclude people of other faiths?
A: Wow, you are so right! We should make sure to incorporate the gods and rituals of other faiths in the prayer, just to make sure all feel equally welcome.
B: Awesome! Now we can have a fully egalitarian service! I can’t wait.