While talking about the year in review, Katie Couric spoke out against the anti-Muslim sentiment that emerged around the Islamic Center near Ground Zero, Cordoba House, and suggested on her CBSNews.com webshow that a Muslim version of “The Cosby Show” would alleviate the situation. In the show’s short segment, Couric said that she was disappointed by the hatred of Muslims displayed around the issue of the Islamic Center, which she attributed to a lack of knowledge of Islam among Americans. Although some find her suggestion of a sitcom absurd, I argue that a sitcom would be a constructive means to improve the image of Muslims.
The role of gender in Islam is a topic that has been debated since the time of the Prophet Muhammad by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. I recently posted pieces about mixed-gender prayer and female religious leadership in Islam, looking at various aspects of the complex question of what sorts of interactions between men and women are appropriate. Is the separation between men and women encouraged more in a mosque than in other public settings? Where in the mosque should women pray?