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Transgender Muslim woman in Arizona blocked from praying in women’s section

Screen Shot via Youtube

Transgender woman Sumayyah Dawud has posted a YouTube video about her struggle to pray in the “women-only” section of the Islamic Cultural Center of Tempe, Arizona. After complaints from community members, who were “uncomfortable” with her, she was told by the chairman of the mosque that she should provide medical documentation to prove she is a woman. While Dawud agreed to share the requested document in confidence with the mosque’s chairman, he then shared it with the board of directors during a supposedly secret meeting. Then, as Dawud told the Phoenix New Times, “they stated I would no longer be allowed to return to the property unless I either provide a document they would accept, at which point I would be admitted to the women’s areas as before or otherwise I would have to come dressed in men’s clothes, pray in the men’s area, and use the men’s restroom.”  Slate’s Miriam Krule writes that mainstream religions still have a long way to go when it comes to the acceptance of transgender people, and a lot of it comes down to education: “If they insist on separating men and women along gender lines, they have to explain what this means.”

Read the full story at Slate.

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