Muslim women speak up about being sexually harassed at holy places with #MosqueMeToo

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.

 The movement was started by Author and journalist Mona Eltahawy who spoke about her experiences of sexual assault during Haj in 2013. Mona can be attributed to starting #MosqueMeToo.
 Poet Muriel Rukeyser wrote What would happen if one woman told the truth/about her life?/The world would split open. Lets split the world open! #MosqueMeToo – Mona wrote on Twitter.

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.

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.

Women spoke up about being groped in mosques.

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.

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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