Australia: Sheikh Fehmi Naji el-Imam vows to end segregation in mosques

Cleric vows to end segregation in mosques

Australia's most senior Muslim, Sheik Fehmi Najl el-Imam, at the Preston Mosque yesterday.
Australia’s most senior Muslim, Sheik Fehmi Najl el-Imam, at the Preston Mosque yesterday. Photo: Jason South

Australia’s most senior Muslim wants men and women to pray together.

AUSTRALIA’S most senior Muslim has said he will end segregation of men and women in mosques, in a bold response to Islamic women’s anger at entrenched discrimination.

The Mufti of Australia, Sheikh Fehmi Naji el-Imam, said he would put his proposal to the next meeting of the Australian National Imams’ Council and consider how women could share the room with men during prayers.

Sheikh Fehmi said segregated worship had been introduced long ago, as a cultural change, not a religious one, and he would argue to end it.

“It is good to hear the complaints of the sisters, and to try to find some solution to their concerns,” he told The Age in an exclusive interview.

“My duty is to propose, to discuss and try to convince. I can’t guarantee the outcome.”

(of course not. That’s why nothing will come of it…/ed)

Sheikh Fehmi said that in the time of the Prophet Mohammed 1400 years ago, women were not segregated.

* But the presence of women or dogs makes the prayers invalid, no?

His announcement is likely to attract international attention and may spark fierce debate among highly conservative mosque communities within Australia.

In some mosques overseas, there are no physical barriers between men’s and women’s areas but in Australia almost every mosque separates men’s and women’s sections.

Sydney lecturer Jamila Hussain this week told a conference at the National Centre for Excellence in Islamic Studies that women found facilities at some mosques “insulting” and that they were treated as second-class citizens.

Last night, Ms Hussain welcomed Sheikh Fehmi’s promise to try to end segregation.

“It’s an excellent start. But I’m a bit hesitant about when or whether it will happen — it will be a while.”

She said many men would oppose such a move and, sadly, some women too. Imams didn’t necessarily have much say.

Islamic Council of Victoria vice-president Sherene Hassan said it was a fine initiative, and it was good to see imams being proactive. She said it was in line with true Islamic teaching. Continued…

The Polygamy debate revisited:

The Plight of Muslim Women in Australia

by Baron Bodissey


I reported last night on Muslim women in Australia who consider their religion to be the primary guarantor of rights for women. According to them, the only problem up until now has been the false interpretations of the Koran purveyed by Islamic male chauvinist pigs.

Ever since the dawn of Islam, men have been in control. Allah dictated the Koran to a man. Men wrote down the hadith and the sunna. Men established the fiqh and acted as judges. Men were the ones who were educated — to the extent that anyone is ever educated under Islam — and passed down all the Islamic traditions and practices. Men made and enforced all the rules.

So when and where did the “pure” form of Islam exist, the true faith that respected and upheld the rights of Muslim women?

It certainly isn’t evident right now among Australian Muslim men. According toThe Age, the mistreatment of women is widespread, and it’s not just the “uncovered cat’s meat” infidel women who are the victims:

Local Muslim Clerics Accused

Some Muslim religious leaders in Victoria are condoning rape within marriage, domestic violence, polygamy, welfare fraud and exploitation of women, according to an explosive report on the training of imams.

Women seeking divorces have also been told by imams that they must leave “with only the clothes on their back” and not seek support or a share of property because they can get welfare payments.

And the report says some imams knowingly perform polygamous marriages, also knowing that the second wife, a de facto under Australian law, can claim Centrelink payments.

The report is based on a study commissioned and funded by the former Howard government and conducted by the Islamic Women’s Welfare Council of Victoria.

It was presented yesterday at a National Centre for Excellence in Islamic Studies conference at Melbourne University.


It says women, community and legal workers and police involved in the consultation were particularly concerned about domestic violence, and suggested that imams aimed to preserve the family at the cost of women.

When cases came to court they were often dropped after family and community elders pressured women to withdraw charges.

So it’s business as usual, just like Europe. Women lose out and the infidel justice system prefers to be fastidiously multicultural about the whole thing and look the other way.

And, also just as in Europe, the welfare system aids and encourages de facto polygamy among the country’s Muslims:
– – -  – – – – –

It says polygamy is steadily increasing and gaining acceptance among Melbourne Muslims, and Shepparton police report many “de facto” relationships that are really polygamous marriages.

“Community workers who have provided support to women whose husbands took another wife religiously said that women blame the availability of Centrelink benefits … since one or the other wife will be claiming it, relieving the husband of the responsibility of supporting two families,” the report says.

And how does the Muslim community feel about all this? They’re shocked — shocked, I tell you! — at all these infidel lies:

The secretary of the Board of Imams, Sheikh Fehmi Naji El-Imam, said he could not understand how the council could write such a report and denied the complaints “absolutely”.

“They must have heard stories here and there and are writing about them as though they are fact,” he said.

Sheikh Fehmi, who is also Mufti of Australia, said no authorised imam would conduct a polygamous marriage, and it was absolutely wrong that women’s rights were ignored in marriage or divorce, or that imams ignored domestic violence.

“I haven’t heard of any case where the board disregarded a woman or did not try to help her,” he said.

Notice the weaselly wording in this last statement — he hasn’t “heard of any case”. Not that such cases don’t exist, just that he doesn’t hear about them. Perhaps the members of his community are prudent enough not to inform him…?

In any case, one wonders why it’s the women who maintain that Islam is inherently respectful of women’s rights. What makes them feel this way? Where’s the evidence for it? And why the necessity to pretend that things are different from the way they are?

What’s in it for them?


aine said…
This business of western countries supporting through Welfare the polygamous wives of Muslim men who may in fact not be working to support a single one of them is going on in England and Canada as well as Australia. In all cases, the authorities say if the polygamous marriage is contracted elsewhere, and the family then moves to England or Canada where theoretically no one is allowed to contract a polygamous marriage, these marriages are recognized for Welfare and other purposes. 

However, even this fig leaf proves false as there are many cases of the more honest imams blatantly declaring that they are in fact performing polygamous marriages IN England, Canada, Australia, and who knows how many more countries where they are breaking the law with impunity. In Canada at least, part of the problem has been previous inaction on polygamous marriages among various Mormon and other sects who have congregated mostly in British Columbia. Now if they started enforcing the law with Muslims, they’d be accused of discrimination. Two wrongs now mean a right to break the law. I’d put money on the likelihood of the same thing going on in the USA.

In Islam, only wealthy men could contract polygamous marriages because only they could afford the upkeep of multiple wives and families. Now, the idiot West allows even the poorest Muslim man on Welfare several wives paid for by the state! not to mention their droves of children. If this is not a way to hasten our demographic death, what is?

11/22/2008 2:15 AM

14 thoughts on “Australia: Sheikh Fehmi Naji el-Imam vows to end segregation in mosques”

  1. “AUSTRALIA’S most senior Muslim has said he will end segregation of men and women in mosques … ”


    That’ll last until worshippers come in one Friday and see his mortal remains (his head separated from his body); they will then understand that “the old ways” are to continue OR ELSE.

  2. I know, couldn’t he just separate the Mosques and Islam from Australia. Also, since I do not believe in the segregation of men and women, please! Take your women with you.

  3. Bismillahirrahmanir rahim
    as salaam o alai kum
    ALL PRAISES for Allah who is the ruler and cherisher of the world.
    to allow men and women offer sallaaat together is Haraam and thoroughly against the sunnat.Instead like bangle wali masjid,nizamuddin, delhi,india there can be separate arrangement for men and women. once you will arrange this nobody men and women will be angry rather very happy at the pious and euitable arrangement you are making.

  4. hedaitullah,
    Men and woman enjoy each others company, in all aspects of life, and it is only moronic and stupid retards (like yourself) who try to destroy natural human behavior. Don’t post here again you miserable piece of islamic excrement.

    your allah is not needed or wanted

  5. sheikh fehmi should go three days in tablighi jammat every month to connect to the 175 crore ummat e ijabat( muslims) of yhe world.

  6. hedaitullah, I suspect that you are greatly confused about where you should be posting!!!!

  7. Ayat5ollah sistani shpould work as nayab khalifa in iraq and help iraq in choosing a right kind of khalifa.

  8. What Australian Muslim law says about the Niqab (Full Burqa) and the Law:
    Greater education and awareness is required. A woman who chooses to wear a niqab and enters a courthouse, airport terminal, or any official premises for example, should have the right to have an officer of the same gender perform any necessary security checks upon her.

    In a situation where there is no officer of the same gender to perform a security and identification check, then the Shariah allows a Muslim woman to remove her Face veil as needed in order to have her identity verified. For example, if an officer has to verify the identity of a woman who wears the Niqab whilst she is travelling in the street and there is no female officers present, then she may remove the face-covering for the purposes and duration of identification. However, fixed points where identity checks are required, such as those mentioned in the previous paragraph, there should be female officers employed to perform the necessary checks.

    When it comes to giving evidence in a court proceeding, a woman may remove her face covering and her face may be observable by the judge and jury regardless of their gender for the duration of her interrogation in the witness box. When the interrogation is finished, she should be entitled to make the choice to cover her face.
    Grand Mufti Of Australia
    Fehmi El-Imam
    Fatwa Board

    FUCK OFF, we the people of australia will preasure our elected government to ban the headbag and get all the Sows to show their faces. Covering up is as evil as that total evil book I am reading at the moment, the koran. Islam (islime) is NOT for Australia and move is afield to curb is spread in this great country of MINE as sure as mahammad was a pedophile screwing little girls.

    Australia for Australians, dump your evil ways, join us or bugga off back to a countyry that wants trhe crab you lot dribble.

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