Among the rationalizations, each of which is supposed to be a claim that this isn't about gender or sexism:
The chief of the King Fahd Institute for Hajj Research, which came up with the plan, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the new restrictions are already in place. There have been word-of-mouth reports of women being asked to pray at new locations away from the white-marbled area surrounding the Kaaba in recent weeks.So, it's ok to do it, because we've already been doing it.
But the religious authorities behind the proposal insist its real purpose is to lessen the chronic problem of overcrowding, which has led to deadly riots during pilgrimages at Mecca in the past.Yes. It's all about the overcrowding, with no mind toward gender at all. That's why it hasn't been considered that perhaps men ought to be banned from Mecca. Sheesh.
I just love it when men make a decision that's 'not sexist' even when they don't include women in the decision-making process and the practical effects of such a decision mean women are at a disadvantage.
Luckily, Muslim women (and some Muslim men) are standing up and saying "No.":
Aisha Schwartz, founder and director of the Muslimah Writers Alliance, started a petition in protest of the proposals, which has already gathered over 1,000 signatures. The petition begins, “The religion of Islam was revealed for both men and women. Both sexes are equal when it comes to the performance of religious duties and in terms of rewards and punishments.” According to Arab News, Muslims in 38 countries have joined together to ensure that women cannot be denied access to mosques.