Associate Professor Ebrahim Afsah interviewed by BBC World Service
The recently founded, female-led Maryam mosque in Copenhagen has attracted considerable interest from a number of Western liberal publications.
In this feature by the BBC World Service, the mosque’s initiators are presented and offer their vision of a liberal, feminist Islam. The founders explicitly claim that their initiative is meant to counter an alleged ‘Islamophobia’ among Western populations increasingly sceptical of mass immigration. Native populations are supposedly mistaken about the true nature of a religion falsely associated with violence, women’s oppression and resistance to integration. Misconceptions to which the founders seek to offer a counter-narrative.
Associate Professor Ebrahim Afsah is interviewed at some length about his assessment of the likely impact this initiative will have on immigrant communities and the development of a liberal, European form of Islam. While welcoming the initiative as an expression of Danish egalitarian society of which the ladies behind the mosque are an integral part, he is very sceptical about their ability to meaningfully influence an increasingly radicalised discourse. In short, while the initiative is psychologically pleasing to a liberal, pro-immigration audience, its actual impact will be negligible.