Principles of the Mariam Mosque
Here are the principles in the form of a manifesto, which shapes the fundament of the Board of Directors and the Mariam Mosque. We are not tied to a particular school of law – but instead promote ‘manifesto’ which aim to:
1. Build an Islamic congregation based on the spiritual teachings of wisdom, Sufism, the spiritual path that gives the believer an understanding of Islam’s inner dimensions. Achieve recognition as a new Islamic religious community in Denmark. The Mariam Mosque’s concept of congregation is flexible and dynamic and accommodates both those who come to Friday prayer and those seeking the Mariam Mosque with the desire to be married, named, divorced, converted and receive Islamic soul care and more. The Mariam Mosque’s concept of congregation includes not only Danish Muslims but also Muslims from Scandinavia, Europe and other countries. The Mariam Mosque operates nationally as well as internationally.
2. Interfaith marriages (the Mariam Mosque’s diversity concept is concretized through Muslim women’s right to divorce as well as interreligious ceremonies that include both Muslim men’s right to marry the people of the Book and Muslim women’s right to marry the people of the Book, which is the implementation of the Quran’s idea of men and women as equal and even. The Mariam Mosque also arranges interreligious wedding-ceremonies.
3. Challenge the patriarchal structures in religious institutions (concretized through monthly Friday prayer- and preaching with female imams)
4. Islamic pluralism: We are working for the recognition of alternative Quran-interpretations and religious diversity. Empathy, respect and tolerance are the key words. We are not representative of Denmark’s Muslims nor do we wish to be.
5. Nobody can speak on behalf of Islam. Muslims speak on their own behalf. Many attempts to unite Muslims in Denmark have often ended in theological discussions about who are the true Muslims. By starting from the point of diversity, we want to avoid the discussion of who are the true Muslims. The idea that there is a true version or interpretation of Islam has dangerous consequences, as it involves the exclusion of all others who differ from the alleged true interpretation. People who do not recognize or tolerate differences in the interpretation and practice of Islam cannot help to bridge and reconcile values in a society where competing perceptions of what is valuable live side by side.
It is not our different approaches to the Quran, which creates divisions. It is our lack of acceptance of the right to be different, which creates divisions and sectarian intolerance. Diversity is a blessing according to the Quran. The Quran’s idea of the good and righteous person is not conditional upon race, gender, faith or nationality. The only thing that separates one person from another is spiritual excellence or virtue understood as righteous actions. That is, to do good to other people and to accommodate their neighbour in spite of our differences.
Kindness, patience, mercy and tolerance are the clearest signs that a person carries Islam in his heart. We believe that God has created a diverse world because He has wanted us to want diversity. Precisely to understand His unity (tawhid).
“O humankind! Surely We have created you from a single (pair of) male and female, and made you into tribes and families so that you may know one another (and so build mutuality and co-operative relationships, not so that you may take pride in your differences of race or social rank, and breed enmities). Surely the noblest, most honourable of you in God’s sight is the one best in piety, righteousness, and reverence for God. Surely God is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” (Quran 49:13)
“Those who believe or those who declare Judaism, or the Christians or the Sabaeans – whoever truly believes in God and the Last Day and does good, righteous deeds, surely their reward is with their Lord, and they will have no fear, nor will they grieve.” (Quran 2:62)
6. Challenge islamophobia through the dissemination of new narratives about Islam, both internationally and nationally, in books, articles and public debates, lectures and interviews. The Danish debate about Islam over the last ten years has often been and is still borne by threat arguments, based on fear and feelings rather than logic and common sense. Scientists, politicians, and writers could easily manipulate a “truth” that Christianity is misogynistic, hateful towards women, even warlike, if they systematically resorted to quote specific verses from the Bible that reduces the woman to a subordinate role in contrast to the man – or Jesus’ ‘sword verse’ in the New Testament.
7. Follow and contribute with women-liberating readings of the Quran focusing on women’s rights. The vision is to transcend gender hierarchies (to go beyond gender), to promote human dignity and universal values such as mercy, forgiveness and justice, etc. The history of Islam contains endless examples of challenges to man-dominating readings of the holy text. The Mariam Mosque continues these readings and contributes with new angles and perspectives that rise above the gender hierarchy, which is in direct conflict with the Quranic idea of equality between genders.
8. Establishing cross-border networks in order to strengthen the flows of Islamic feminist worldwide.
9. Educating female Imams in the Islamic Academy of the Mariam Mosque (MIA) (opening in 2018). Holding annual conferences on Islamic Feminism.