The Islamic Society of North American (ISNA) recently announced that Ingrid Mattson had been elected as its first female president, just days before the group’s annual convention. Her election is seen as a sign of “maturation” and an indication of progress for Muslim women’s rights, according to The American Muslim. Mattson said, “I think it shows what Muslims can do and would like to do,” the Associated Press reports.
This historic decision, however, has drawn criticism from some Muslims who feel that female leadership is violating the code of Islam. In addition, the opportunity to lead public prayer is often given to the president of ISNA. However, Islamic tradition prohibits women from performing this rite. Mattson has said that she does not object to this custom and will only lead ritual prayer for women, AP reports.