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My wish for the month of ramadan

Sunday, July 6, 2014

This Ramadan or Ramzaan, as a billion Muslims re-enter into our holiest month, I can’t help but do a little reflecting on what it means to be a Muslim woman. You’re part of a religious community that is largely misunderstood, even by its own members. That oftentimes subscribes to archaic notions of what it means to be pious. 


Even in Latin America, away from the violence in Iraq and lawlessness of Somalia, conservative Islam rears its misogynistic head. A few years ago, I visited friends in Argentina. When you think of Buenos Aires you’re more likely to envision Catholic churches and Virgin Marys, not so much minarets and Muslims. But, much to my surprise, South America’s largest mosque can be found in Palermo, one of Buenos Aires’s most fashionable districts.


The King Fahd Islamic Cultural Centre is an enormous structure surrounded by sweet-smelling jasmine flowers and heavy-duty security. I hadn’t come to Argentina to go to mosque, but out of a mixture of journalistic curiosity and tribal obligation I decided to pay a visit. Catholics aren’t the only ones ridden with guilt. But unlike the Catholic churches all around the city, you can’t just enter King Fahd's mosque whenever you feel like it.


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