Transgender Muslim Told She’s Not Woman Enough to Pray in the Women’s Section

On Aug. 24, Sumayyah Dawud, a transgender Muslim, uploaded an hourlong video to YouTube in which, her face covered with a full-face niqab veil, she tells the harrowing story of how officials at the Islamic Cultural Center of Tempe, Arizona, told her she needed to dress and pray like a man or provide medical proof that she is an anatomical woman.

The Phoenix New Times, which picked up the story, later provided more documentation about the ordeal. Dawud, who has been legally female since 2011, converted to Islam in 2013. As she recounts in the video, earlier this summer, toward the end of Ramadan, some community members went to the mosque’s board of directors saying they were uncomfortable that she prayed in the women’s section.

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