The MeToo movement which gathered momentum last year gave women all around the world the courage to speak up against the sexual harassment they face on day to day basis. The worldwide movement saw women sharing their experiences, of being sexually abused, on social media.
#MosqueMeToo is another hashtag that can be seen on social media these days. Muslim women around the world are rallying against sexual harassment they faced at religious places and gatherings.
I thanked her and told her that women’s stories are searing. Poet Muriel Rukeyser wrote “What would happen if one woman told the truth/about her life?/The world would split open.” Let’s split the world open! #MosqueMeToo
— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) February 9, 2018
Mona had shared her experience via a Twitter thread. The incident also finds a mention in her book, Headscarves & Hymens. Mona talked about how difficult was it for her to come out with her experiences as many people told her it would make Muslims look bad.
— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) August 28, 2017
Within hours of Mona tweeting about it, people had picked up the hashtag and shared their experiences of being sexually assaulted while visited mosques or during Haj.
When I visited the Jama Masjid in Delhi, the man lending “modest” robes to women touched my breasts. It took me several hours to shake my denial that it had happened. I also don’t talk about it so people won’t use my experience to justify Islamophobia. #metoo
— Dr. NOPE (@reallyHibbs) February 6, 2018
Women spoke up about being groped in mosques.
Pilgim groups are warned re. groping during tawaf; my father walked behind my mother during tawaf to protect her. Men, don't act surprised!
— NargessKa (@nargesska) February 9, 2018
Had to stop going for Taraweeh and Qiyam one Ramadan because of some gentlemen. Stayed mum because I thought no one'd believe me, or I'd be accused of having an overactive imagination. #MosqueMeToo is our skeleton in the closet.
— Kali (@maimoonarahman) February 6, 2018
Haj is considered to be the fifth and final pillar of Islam. Every Muslim is expected to undertake the journey at least once in their life provided they have the means to do so. Every year, over 2 million Muslims visit the holy city of Mecca for Haj resulting in massive crowds.
I was 10 years old and I thought my sister was gripping my hips as not to lose me in the huge crowd after Jumaa prayer. But my sister was next to me and those turned out to not be my sister’s hands.
He didn’t move until she elbowed him away.
— K R (@NewtmasGrape) February 9, 2018
Female modesty is considered as one of the virtues of Islam. Females are advised to cover themselves and show minimal skin in public in order to not draw any attention to themselves.
Arguments against women being responsible for the harassment or assault they face resurface again and again with many people believing that what women wear or do can lead to harassment.
#MosqueMeToo brings to light the fact that sexual assault can also happen at the holiest of places and challenged the argument that women’s clothes are responsible for the harassment they face.
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