local digest

Local Digest

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

THE DISTRICT

Bridge restriped

The District Department of Transportation said its crews moved swiftly Monday to lay down fresh lane markings on the 14th Street Bridge after drivers said that plowing and salting had virtually erased temporary lane markings.

The markings had been put down while the bridge undergoes a major rehabilitation project. Drivers reported Monday morning that most of the lines had disappeared in the aftermath of the snowstorms, and they said many drivers were trying to follow faint lane markings put down before the construction began, resulting in confusion and congestion.

DDOT said crews were dispatched immediately to put down new lines.

-- Ashley Halsey III

Protest at mosque

Muslim women staged a protest at a D.C. mosque Saturday to demand that mosque leaders remove a 7-foot partition behind which women pray separately from men.

Fatima Thompson and other women staged a "stand-in" at the Islamic Center on Massachusetts Avenue in Northwest. "Every woman should be able to stand with the congregation. That's the correct way," said Thompson, who converted to Islam 18 years ago.

Thompson's protest at the stately mosque along Embassy Row is the latest effort by Muslim activists to reform conditions in U.S. mosques that they say are discriminatory and degrading to women. Muslim prayers are typically led by male imams. Behind them are rows of men, and behind them rows of women and children.

The mosque's imam did not respond to a request for comment, but Fatima Goodwin, a mosque employee who also worships there, said Thompson is acting alone. "Not a single woman that prays here has expressed disagreement with the partition," Goodwin said. "On the contrary, all of the women that pray here want the partition, because it gives us privacy."

Such partitions have been a contentious issue within Islam in the United States for several years, as disputes erupted inside -- and sometimes outside -- mosques in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Charlotte and Morgantown, W.Va.


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