Submission from Norway

I saw your trailer on youtube a while ago and subsequently found your website, read submissions, etc. and have now pre-ordered the documentary. Am I living in the US? No, I actually live in Norway, but was born and raised in Germany. Interestingly enough though, the subject spoke to me regardless, which makes me think that this is a problem muslims face in many many countries....I`ve also lived in Jordan for a year and can therefore compare things a bit.
When I was a kid I spent a lot of time in the masjid in my hometown in Germany. I loved it - activities, friends, everything was going on in the mosque! I think I was too little to understand certain things, plus when you experience them since you were small, you think they must be normal: the trashbins in front of the womens entrance, the dirty carpet, the broken devices...I never saw the imam, and most of the time I didn`t understand him either. As I was growing up I realized that in a way the girls group I was a part of was maybe the only really active group in the mosqued - pretty confined to our own room and with no contact to anyone else, but as long as we kept to ourselves and didn`t ask for anything...then the "open house" day came along, and guess who suddenly was asked to clean the mosque and the bathroom - yes....the women. And those uncles that had screamed at us when we came to the mosque from the window close to the womens entrance, asking who we were, what our fathers name was and what exactly we wanted in the mosques - were now in the name of dawa shaking hand with nonmuslim women who could even enter the mens prayer hall on the Open House Day. That hurt.

Never mind all those days we would come to the mosque and the door was locked. I remember one winter day, it was freezing with the first snow falling, and the door was locked. At that time it didn`t even occur to me that I could enter through the mens entrance - I prayed outside, on my jacket.

Years later that same masjid built a new building. We were thrilled - then we realized that our ideas and thoughts were of course not listened to. When the new building was finished....the women had a nice, new room, with an Aya on the wall: "And stay in your homes and do not display yourselves like the ways of the time of ignorance. And establish the prayer, pay the zakat and obey Allah and His Messenger...} Al-Ahzaab:33

Additionally, almost as a way to help women to "stay" in our homes, the womens entrance was not on ground level but had to be reached by walking up around 30 stairs, which is nonsense when you think about women with prams, with toddlers, maybe more than one. Oh, and to reach the womens bathroom you had to step out of the womens prayer hall, walk down about 15 of those 30 stairs, and enter through another door. Very convenient, especially during the winter / with kids, etc....

Because this is getting too long I will not write about the mosques in Jordan or Norway.....

As I`m writing this I`m asking myself - why on earth did we, the women, endure this? Why didn`t we protest? I guess it`s part of that experience, you become mute in a way...

Thank you and jazakumuLLAHUkhayran to the filmmakers and everyone involved. You have done a huge service to muslimes everywhere by highlighting this issue, may Allah reward you - and may we, the muslims, start doing the right thing inshaAllah...