Learning Something New and Amazing Everyday; A Legislative Library Visit Yields Knowledge of Diverse Subjects; Books on Homelessness, Studies Completed in Canada; But Perhaps Even Better The Knowledge That There are Women Directed Mosques in China Led; The Truth Shall Set You Free Origins Explored; One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words Origins of Word and a Picture; I Guess I Should Have Gone to China

It was entirely by accident that I discovered, what was to me, a starting, unbelievable  fact. First I shall reveal the startling fact, which is incredibly encouraging. This from Wikipedia, the path to its discovery shall be revealed later.

With the exception of China, the world has very few mosques directed by women. Among the Hui, women are allowed to become imams or ahong, and a number of woman-only mosques have been established. The tradition evolved from earlier Quranic schools for girls, with the oldest, the Wangjia Hutong Women’s Mosque in Kaifeng, dating to 1820.

I suggest you read that paragraph again as it is almost impossible to take in. There are women only mosques in China, the earliest dates back to 1820.

The morning of the day before yesterday September 20, 2022 found Alexis McBride walking to the Legislative Building on a cool, glorious, sunny morning. She was famished as she awoke for Fajr prayer so had been awake for hours. Entry to the Legislative Building by members of the public is not allowed until 8:30, the Legislative cafeteria is the situs of the six dollar special breakfast on Tuesday features a loaded omelet. The delicious breakfast was consumed, the next stop was the Legislative Library located on the second floor.  Alexis was there on a mission. A able, intelligent, helpful, gracious librarian greeted her.
She: Can I help you with anything?
Me: Yes please. I have two questions that I need assistance in answering, I need you to point the way so I can research two topics. Do you want the easy question or the difficult question first.
She: The easy one please .
Me: I returned to live in Edmonton after an absence of fifty years. I am loving the changes that have taken place in my absence. But there is a horrible problem, a blight particularly in downtown Edmonton. It is the homeless, they are frightening making portions of downtown uninhabitable. They most certainly are not vaccinated, do not wear face masks so are actually dangerous to be around. No efforts seem to be taking place to curb this loitering presence. everyone resigned and passive. Something must be done but it needs to be based on knowledge. I do recall that San Francisco City Government commissioned (and paid for) a study of homelessness. That was done prior to the pandemic. That is encouraging as one  must know why the people are homeless in order to help them – there are probably as many reasons as there are homeless. Can you help me find out if there have been any studies done on homelessness here in Canada. Perhaps books, if there are any, and then on line sources.
She: I would be happy to help you.. Please take a seat and I will set to work

In a wink of an eye she returned with five thick books and a mechanism to find even more material on line. A great deal of reading must be undertaken before my preliminary findings can be revealed. But needless to say, I am impressed and encouraged!!!

She: I had my colleague research your second, more difficult question and she has some answers for you.
Me: Thank you. I am overwhelmed at your helpfulness, the information contained within these walls. I am so blessed and I am within walking distance of this resource. Hahahaha

The second question was, in a way, simple but it seemed entirely unlikely that an answer could be found.
Me: Are there any mosques in Canada that are directed by women? The second woman provided me with an answer that was believable but she had ‘gone the extra mile’ and found the unbelievable answer – one hidden from view.
She: There are none in Canada. There are women in the Toronto area who have been speaking out for several years about the lack of recognition of women, having no face, no role in the mosque. . Your memory was correct – a woman led prayers for both men and women – this was not within the mosque itself but on the grounds of a mosque. There was much opposition to this and was viewed as unheard of.  But there are mosques directed by women in China.
Me: My goodness!! I practically cannot believe my ears. I do believe the truth of which you speak but I am absolutely shocked. I have read of the treatment some Muslims received in China but this is entirely different. I have seen photographs in the popular press of oncentration camps’ where Muslim Chinese are held against their will and force to work in nearby factories. . But this gem, this treasure. WOW!!! It fills me with such hope and optimism. Not only for the Islamic faith but also for China. The Western press always preaching against the human rights violations in China rather than examining their own. How did you ever discover this. I am so impressed!!
She: That is my job. (She said modestly)
Me: You have made me a happy woman. Knowledge is so important. The truth shall set you free, it is said.

Of course I had to get at the truth of that phrase. The truth will set you free” is a common saying in academic circles used to promote academic freedom and the power of learning. Many universities have this statement emblazoned on a sign near the entrance of a building.).” “The truth will set you free” (Latin: Vēritās līberābit vōs (biblical) or Vēritās vōs līberābit (common), Greek: ἡ ἀλήθεια ἐλευθερώσει ὑμᾶς, trans. hē alḗtheia eleutherṓsei hūmâs) is a statement which derives from John 8:32 and which Jesus Christ addressed to a group of Jews who believed in him.
Do have to admit that personally I prefer Gloria Steinem’s version: “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”
That I have found most true. Knowledge of women only mosques in China does set me free but it does piss me off – the media always getting things wrong and reporting only gloom and doom and never anything encouraging or uplifting or even factual. I am angered at the treatment of women within the Islamic faith – the Quran holds women precious and it must be remembered that without the Prophet Mohammed’s wife there would be no Islamic faith. She was the first Muslim, supporting encouraging. The Prophet Mohammed could not read or write – her abilities and wisdom made it possible for him to instruct others and preserve the record which is the holy Quran. But as this blog has extensively explored the rights of women have been put aside by those ‘on control’ Muslim men. Go to the search engine of this blog – type Islamic faith. There are twenty four pages of titles – 240 blogs. Type in Muslim – 33 pages with ten on a page, so 330 pages. I have been trying my best to inform the world – but I do humbly say that I have a great deal to learn.

There is a saying. one picture is worth a thousand words.  Again we turn to Wikipedia for a synopsis: “A picture is worth a thousand words” is an adage in multiple languages meaning that complex and sometimes multiple ideas[1] can be conveyed by a single still image, which conveys its meaning or essence more effectively than a mere verbal description.Henrik Ibsen first said “A thousand words leave not the same deep impression as does a single deed.  After his death in 1906 this quote was plagiarized and para-phrased into what we know now.”
But it also has Chinese origins as well. The actual Chinese expression “Hearing something a hundred times isn’t better than seeing it once” (百闻不如一见, p bǎi wén bù rú yī jiàn) is sometimes introduced as an equivalent, as Watts’s “One showing is worth a hundred sayings”

But oops that was a digression. Here is the photograph taken in 2009 depicting a newly built exhibit hall in China which houses the first handwritten Quran in China written between the 8th and the 13 century. I did know something of this history as there was a huge and fascinating exhibit at the Abu Dhabi Louvre The Phoenix and The Dragon. I was drawn to the exhibit more than once purchasing the book prepared for the exhibit. The book sits upon the bookshelves of my Edmonton, Alberta apartment. Next to my borrowed books on homelessness.

I laugh to myself about my strange life. I do wish I had more information when I fled the Marin County persecution. I should have fled to China to a woman only mosque instead of Abu Dhabi. Now Abu Dhabi has the Grand Mosque, photos adorn the walls of my Edmonton apartment but I do yearn for a woman only mosque.

More later. There is (or at least was) a women only mosque in Denmark – you shall hear more about that later.

Photo taken on April 8, 2009 shows the interior decoration of the newly-built exhibition hall to display China’s oldest handwritten copy of the Koran in Salar Autonomous County of Xunhua, northwest China’s Qinghai Province. A handwritten copy of the Koran, the oldest of its kind known in China, is to open to public soon at the exhibition hall besides the Jiezi mosque. The Koran copy originally preserved in the Jiezi mosque was believed to be written between the eighth and the 13th century, according to experts of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage. (Xinhua/Hou Deqiang)

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