NEW YORK -- In a crowded dorm meeting room last week, Khalid Latif posed an unusual scenario to dozens of students and young professionals gathered for a weekly Islamic studies class.
"A girl walks into a (mosque) and she's wearing a miniskirt," the 28-year-old Muslim chaplain proposed to the group at New York University. "What do you think?" Some participants giggled. Others looked perplexed.
Traditionally, women and men are expected to wear conservative clothing in mosques. Most women who do not typically cover their heads will wear headscarves in a mosque.
But the idea of a girl in a miniskirt entering an Islamic house of prayer? Absurd.
The answer, Latif suggested, was not to scold or ignore the woman, but to welcome her to pray. "Your tongue has been given to you as a way of being closer to others and closer to the divine," he told the group. "Think of how you use your tongue."
The lesson is one of many the 28-year-old Muslim chaplain at the university has imparted in recent weeks as part of a popular series of classes and discussion groups he launched ahead of the holy month of Ramadan, which begins Aug. 1. (More)