Reflection by Laura Garvock

"After I converted, eager to attend the masjid my adult son attended, I had the same dingy basement experience there. When i asked why women and children couldn't at least see the imam, or be a part of things, I was told, disapprovingly, that the truly pious women pray at home; not at the masjid. As a 60 yr old, with a Masters degree, who raised four children myself, and was a program director/and advocate for victims of domestic violence for over 16 yrs, being treated so badly at masjids I tried to attend was shocking to me. As you expressed, I had never been treated that way at any church I attended....ever, before conversion. I was unmosqued by the Muslims....especially the women of my Muslim community who couldn't understand why I wanted to attend in the first place, telling, "go to taleem, that's what women do". It's been 6 yrs since my conversion to Islam, and have not stepped foot in a masjid since those experiences, but for years now have taken online classes and listen to talks, etc. I marvel at how I remained Muslim after all the hardship I have had, just trying to hold on to my Deen. But then, relying on the internet for community and knowledge had it's pitfalls as well....the horrible things Muslims say to one another in comments, the 'Abu Esa' ordeal made me realize how much hate there is for women, within the Ummah.....now the Happy British Muslims video is causing arguing, accusations, ugly name calling, etc. Social media is no longer a safe place for fellowship either....so, I am read Quran, take classes, listen to talks...avoiding the comments sections, and that's it. Commenters, please don't reply advising me to fight the good fight, I tried that when I was well, to no avail, at 'my masjid' ....now I am too ill, and am confined to my home."

Laura Garvock