They can’t silence me, says woman who led Friday congregational prayer
K Jamida turned an Imam, probably the first of her kind in the country, and led Jama’ah, the congregational prayer service of Muslims, at the office of the Quran Sunnath Societyindia Updated: Jan 31, 2018 14:17 IST
Mounting threats have unmoved K Jamida, 34, who loves to take up challenges. She ruffled many feathers after she led a group of believers for Friday prayers in Wandoor in Malappuram district. She has been facing wrath of conservatives for more than three years and admits that “threat perception has increased a bit now.”
Last Friday, she turned an Imam, probably the first of her kind in the country, and led Jumu’ah, the congregational prayer service of Muslims, at the office of the Quran Sunnath Society, an organisation working for reforms in the community.
“I am flooded with threats. Some said I will be burned and others said I will be skinned alive. Besides phone calls, my social media pages are full of abuses and threats. But they can’t bully me and I will go ahead with my plans,” she said, adding she is ready to take up the role of Imam again if she gets similar opportunities. “People who threaten me are cowards. They want to keep women under veils and treat them as second-class citizens. I don’t even mind getting killed for a cause,” said the mother of two.
She claimed that two days ago, two people had barged into her house near Kozhikkode and tried to manhandle her. “I have filed a police complaint against them. Although police have offered me protection, I declined it politely because it will curtail my privacy,” she said, adding that the oft-repeated charge against her was that she was “a saffron spy.”
She said holy texts are often interpreted differently for the convenience of men so they can hold reins of power and discriminate against women. “Quran is not discriminatory against women. People who interpret it are doing this. There is nothing in the holy book that prevents a woman from being an Imam,” she had earlier said while arguing that change will come in the religion gradually and that she has made “a small beginning”.
Popular as Jamida Teacher, the Arabic graduate teaching in a private school is a huge fan of US-based scholar Amina Wadud, the first Muslim woman to lead Friday prayers. She wants her critics to hold a healthy debate rather than brow-beating her.