Last updated: 14 june, 2010 - 12:15 GMT

Preaching equality: Canadian woman leads prayers in Britain

Raheel Raza (photo by Mark West)

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(photo by Marc West/Oxford Mail)

Last week a Canadian woman travelled all the way from Toronto to Oxford, Britain to lead a congregation through Friday prayers.

Raheel Raza first led a mixed gender prayer congregation in Canada five years ago.

It was a highly controversial move which aroused fierce resistance and even provoked death threats.

Undaunted, Raheel says she is determined to challenge the orthodox male mindset that has traditionally excluded women from leadership roles within the mosque.

As the first Muslim-born woman to lead prayers in Britain, she tells Lucy Ash it is "a great honour and a great blessing".

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