University Security Tightens after Wadud Leads Mixed-Gender Islamic Prayers

March 28, 2005

Source: The Washington Times

On March 28, 2005 The Washington Times reported, "Virginia Commonwealth University has tightened security because of threats against a faculty member who led a mixed-sex prayer service that drew harsh criticism throughout the Muslim world. The precautionary measures were taken the week after Islamic studies professor Amina Wadud led 80 to 100 men and women in Muslim prayer at a church in New York. Muslim clerics denounced her actions and some have suggested that it was part of a plot to corrupt Islam, which requires separate religious services for men and women. University spokeswoman Pamela Lepley said on Saturday that inflammatory comments on Internet forums discussing Miss Wadud's actions and her views about the role of women in Islam 'raise concerns.' President Eugene P. Trani sent a university wide e-mail Thursday night addressing security concerns but did not name Miss Wadud."