The manifestations of Islam are as varied as the communities in which this religion lives, yet the Islamophobes would have you believe it is one giant monolith whose sole intent is the destruction of someone’s way of life. (read the Gingrich rant below) Here is an interesting story from China about how women have become active participants in their religious affairs and not just observers
As she leads the service, Yao stands alongside the other women, not in front of them as a male imam would. But she says her role is the same as a male imam.
“The status is the same,” Yao says confidently. “Men and women are equal here, maybe because we are a socialist country.”
China has an estimated 21 million Muslims, who have developed their own set of Islamic practices with Chinese characteristics. The biggest difference is the development of independent women’s mosques with female imams, something scholars who have researched the issue say is unique to China.
There’s more here. Amazing that a socialist country allows for the expression of religion in ways even the country of origin of Islam doesn’t, much less western secular democracies.