Altmuslimah’s Asma Uddin led a discussion on gender-in-Islam in conjunction with the screening of The Mosque in Morgantown.
Film Screening: The Mosque in Morgantown
“The Mosque in Morgantown”
2010 Ethics Film Series
April 13, 2010
One woman’s campaign for gender equality in her West Virginia mosque throws the community into turmoil, raising questions that cut to the heart of American Islam. Post-film discussion was led by Brittany Huckabee, the film’s director, Asma T. Uddin, founder and editor-in-chief of altmuslimah.com, and Dr. Bruce Lawrence, professor of religion and director of the Duke Islamic Studies Center.
Like Morgantown, the Raleigh-Durham area has attracted people of diverse faiths, including a thriving Muslim community. Why do conflicts over the place of women arise, in Islam and other religions? What strategies have been effective in resolving them? Audience members are welcome to share experiences from their own faith communities.
This screening was cosponsored by the Arts of the Moving Image Program, the Center for Documentary Studies, the Duke Islamic Studies Center, and the Duke Women’s Center.
See the trailer: http://www.themosqueinmorgantown.com/
(Brittany Huckabee, 2009, 76 min, USA, in English, Color, DVD)
Working in Pakistan after September 11, 2001, former Wall Street Journal reporter Asra Nomani had faced a double shock. First came a surprise pregnancy and abandonment by the Pakistani man she thought would be her husband, then the murder of her dear friend and colleague Daniel Pearl at the hands of Muslim extremists. Still reeling and with a son to raise, she returned to her hometown in West Virginia and discovered the mosque had been taken over by men she saw as extremists. “The Mosque in Morgantown” chronicles what happens when she decides to fight back — unexpectedly pitting her against the mosque’s moderates.
The film also features Christine Arja, a convert to Islam who initially opposes Asra’s efforts but eventually becomes her only ally in the mosque; and Ihtishaam Qazi, a moderate mosque leader who becomes Asra’s strongest opponent as he struggles to balance competing viewpoints in the community. Through unfolding scenes and intimate interviews, “The Mosque in Morgantown” frames this local conflict as a means to explore the larger dilemmas facing American Islam. It tells a story of competing paths to social change, American identity and the nature of religion itself.
(Source: Kenan Institute, Duke University)