26 December 2009

Women's Barrier in Mosques

With the 5th season of the Little Mosque on the Prairie premiering in January 2010, I thought I would bring up an interesting architectural topic relating to one of the shows first episodes.

The issue of the Women's barrier in Mosques...

In episode 2 (season 1), the newly formed mosque must decide if they should or should not have a wall separating the men and women during prayer.

The two main characters had different ideas:

Baber, the more conservative Muslim character, first initiates the construction of a partition wall:

Rayan, the Muslimah feminist character, feels that there is no need for a wall and that having the women sit in the back of the prayer hall is a sufficient barrier.

In the end, there is a partition wall constructed but it is smaller, with a slight screen, and women have the choice to either site behind it or sit to the side of it.

It is an interesting compromise. What do you think about the physical partition in mosques?