'Muslim suffragettes' fight for mosque vote

MUSLIM women have launched an audacious campaign to win the vote at Scotland's biggest mosque.

A group of students, many aged under 20, say they are being effectively barred from taking part in elections because applications from women to become voting members are being turned down.

Dubbed "Muslim suffragettes", the group believes Glasgow Central Mosque, Scotland's biggest place of worship, is in breach of its own constitution, charity rules and discrimination laws.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The mosque, which can cater for up to 2,500 worshippers, has no female members but allows women to pray and wash in segregated areas.

Nazia Iqbal, 19, a phar- macy student at Strathclyde University, this weekend wrote to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) asking whether the mosque had undermined its charitable status by refusing to accept her application to become a member.

Iqbal said: "I was shocked when I was knocked back. I just found it downright wrong that a committee decided that women can't be members."

The Campaign for Women's Votes in Our Mosques claims there is nothing in the Koran saying women cannot play a full role in places of worship. Some mosques in England and the US allow women to become voting members and stand for election to their ruling committees.

An OSCR spokesman yesterday said any complaint from Iqbal would be considered, while mosque president Bashir Maan pledged to look into why applications from women had been turned down.