As stories of gender exclusion in mosques emerge, some young Muslims have begun to call their places of worship into question to encourage reform. According to a 2013 Hartford Institute study, 63 percent of mosques scored "fair" or "poor" on a 'women-friendly' scale.
Hind Makki, a Chicago-based blogger, was inspired to take a stand after she began to notice that Muslim women were being pushed out of sanctuaries in her community.
She started a blog called Side Entrance, which serves as an open forum for Muslims to show the perspective and experiences of women and their prayer spaces in mosques. The description for the blog reads: "We show the beautiful, the adequate and the pathetic."
In an interview with The Stream, Makki recalled a friend's experience praying in the basement of a mosque during Ramadan. "The space smelled of mold and was not air-conditioned, prompting several women to pray in the main sanctuary behind the men," she explained. The imam interrupted their prayer and threatened to call the police if they did not leave.