Canadian Women Film Directors Database
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Me and the Mosque

Directed by Zarqa Nawaz
Canada, 2005 (documentary, 53 minutes, colour, English)
Also known as "Une femme dans la mosquée"
Me and the Mosque
Photo © National Film Board of Canada

Film Description:
"Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. In North America, a large number of converts are women. Many are drawn to the religion because of its emphasis on social justice and spiritual equality between the sexes. Ironically many mosques force women to pray behind barriers away from the men, and some mosques do not even permit women to enter the building. When it comes to user-friendliness for women, Canadian mosques run the entire gamut. In Me and the Mosque, journalist and filmmaker Zarqa Nawaz visits mosques throughout Canada and talks to scholars, colleagues, friends and neighbours about equal access for women. Discussions about the historical role of women in the Islamic faith, the current state of mosques in Canada and personal stories of anger, fear, acceptance and defiance punctuate the film. And Nawaz herself speaks of the spiritual longing that comes from belonging to an institution that doesn't want you. With original animation, archival footage and deeply personal interviews, Me and the Mosque is a smart, self-aware and whimsical story that documents the debates and presents the personalities on all sides of the issue."
-- National Film Board of Canada (source)

Film Credits (partial):
Written by: Zarqa Nawaz
Produced by: Joe MacDonald, Graydon McCrea, Michael Scott
Narrator: Zarqa Nawaz
Cinematography: Moira Simpson
Animation: Fazail Lufti
Film Editing: Dean Evans
Music: Rob Bryanton, Todd Bryanton, Tracy Gerlach
Production Company: National Film Board of Canada / Office national du film du Canada
(sources)

Quote by the Director

"Me and the Mosque premiered at the Montreal World Film Festival. Then it screened on Vision TV and finally on CBC Television. Making a documentary that was critical of the community hadn't made me popular, though. Friends thought my timing was terrible and that I was handing ammunition to the 'Muslims are sexist' publicity machine. They felt we should sort out our issues in private. But I felt that the outside world would judge us less harshly if it saw that we too were struggling with gender equality."
-- Zarqa Nawaz (source)

Publications by the Director about Me and the Mosque

Web Sites about Me and the Mosque


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