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UK mosques ask women to shun Facebook, trousers: report

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Many mosques in the UK propagate extremely strict rules of conduct for women, asking them to delete their Facebook accounts, not to leave their houses without their husbands’ permission, and to avoid wearing trousers, a research report released today said.

The research conducted by ‘The Times’ showed rulings published by mosques and Islamic associations around Britain.

Under a section titled ‘Islamic articles’, the Croydon Mosque and Islamic Centre in London published a document – ‘Advice for the husband and wife’.

Written by a mufti at the mosque, it says, “A woman should seek her husband’s permission when leaving the house and should not do so without his knowledge”.

The Central Masjid of Blackburn in northwest England has published a web post called ‘Dangers of Facebook’.

It cites a quotation from the Quran about the sin of alcohol, and applies it to the social network.

“Facebook has opened the doors for sin. Muslim girls and women alike have become prey to this evil,” it says.

It describes the social media website as a “vicious network”.

The Green Lane Masjid in Birmingham tells one woman worshipper that wearing trousers is not permitted even in front of her husband.

Trousers show off “the details of her body. The ones who wear trousers are men, and the Prophet cursed women who imitate men,” a post by the mosque quoting an Islamic scholar reads.

Khola Hasan, a female scholar at the Islamic Sharia Council in London, told the newspaper, “These views are clearly outdated and reflect a patriarchal, narrow worldview that is out of step with the rest of the Muslim world”.

“Some men of an older generation may find these freedoms hard to stomach, but they will have to accept them,” she said.

Many of these mosques are members of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), an umbrella body representing hundreds of UK mosques, schools and other organisations.

“Rulings that belong to different historical periods and cultural settings get superseded. We encourage affiliates to actively consider this,” a spokesperson said.

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