Peshawar mosque opens doors for women after 25-year hiatus

Due to terror attacks women stopped offering congregation prayers at Sunheri Masjid

Shahzeb Khan February 29, 2020
Due to terror attacks women stopped offering congregation prayers at Sunheri Masjid. PHOTO: EXPRESS

PESHAWAR: Women in Peshawar will be able to offer Friday prayer in congregation after a gap of over two decades as the law and order situation in the province has improved significantly following the launch of successful military operations.

Until mid 1990s, women would offer Friday prayer in congregation at Sunehri Masjid (Golden Mosque) situated in the Peshawar cantonment but the practice was abandoned after terrorism badly hit the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa capital.

Dozens of terrorist attacks took place near the mosque which led to its closure for women almost 25 years ago.

In 2016, 16 people were killed and dozens wounded when a powerful bomb went off as the bus carrying mostly government employees cruised past the mosque in the crowded marketplace of Saddar.

15 killed, dozens injured in Peshawar bus explosion

Now, with a substantial improvement in the security situation, the authorities have decided to resume the practice and arrangements for women’s congregation prayer have been finalised.

The authorities have also put up a banner outside the mosque carrying message “that women are now welcomed to offer Friday prayer at Sunheri Masjid”.

The move is being praised as a good step to discourage the patriarchal nature of spaces like mosques and hujras from where women are excluded.

Pakistan was once known to the world as a terror-ridden country because of the frequent terror attacks that its people had to endure for more than a decade. In the past 10 years, however, incidents related to terrorism have significantly decreased.

In the decade following 2010, the Pakistan Army and other state institutions, under a successful strategy, ended the unrest and restored peace in the country.


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