The Rise of the Female Imam in France?

Bahloul submitted a proposal in November 2018 to construct a house of worship known as the Fatima Mosque, where weekly prayers would alternate between a male and female imam. Congregants of both sexes would be invited to attend the service, although they would be separated on different sides of the main prayer hall.

Charlotte Houang, FRANCE 24 | Kahina Bahloul hopes to become France’s first female imam by founding the Fatima Mosque, an “inclusive” house of worship.

The proposal, which is in the initial stages of securing financing and a possible site for the mosque, was co-sponsored by Faker Korchane, a freelance journalist and philosophy professor.

Bahloul, 39, has a doctorate in Islamic studies from France’s prestigious École Pratique des Hautes Études. She said she was driven to become an imam because she feels out of step with how Islam is taught in traditional and hardline Salafist mosques.

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