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Two Female Imams in Paris Lead First Ever Mixed Gender Prayer

The prayer’s attendance was of mixed gender.

Rabat – On Saturday, September 7, two female imams led a Muslim prayer, gathering both men and women. The prayer was the first Muslim prayer led by a woman and involving both genders in France.

“This moment is important for Islam in France because this prayer guarantees gender equality in Islam,” said Eva Janadin, one of the two female imams in her opening speech.

The room where the prayer was held was full of participants from both genders. The sermons were given in French with translations of Arabic expressions.

While some of the women in attendance were wearing a headcovering, others, including the two imams chose not to cover their heads. The female imams wore non-traditional clothing, with one wearing jeans.

The two imams, Eva Janadin and Anne-Sophie Monsinay, both converted to Islam years ago. They want to express their vision of a “progressive” and “enlightened” Islam in concrete acts. “Today, with this first prayer, our vision materializes,” said Anne-Sophie Monsinay.

The two women are hoping to provide a “dialogue space free of any community or family pressure,” because they understand that “a lot of Muslims have a vital need for emancipation and liberation.”

“It is possible to develop an alternative model to counter Islamism and conservatism,” said Eva Janadin.