MUSLIM women in Scotland are pushing back against a patriarchal religious community with a new campaign for equality. A group has been set up with a simple aim – to give women equal footing in mosques.

According to Scottish Mosques For All (SMFA), many mosques in Scotland do not offer basic access for women.

And most, if not all, mosque committees are led by men who then appoint other men.

In SMFA’s mission statement the group goes as far as to say some mosques can make women feel unwelcome.

Official mosque statistics show more than a quarter have no facilities at all for women, who pray separately. And when women’s areas are provided they are substandard to what men are afforded.

This is not acceptable, and it is right that there are moves afoot to change the culture. But it will not be an easy campaign to win.

Women involved in founding the movement are reluctant to speak out. They have set up social media profiles and a website, but their names are not visible.

Muslim women spoke privately to this newspaper but said they would not want to be publicly linked to the campaign. And when we contacted the group to ask for further information we were approached by a male member of the Muslim Council for Scotland who asked that we don’t publish an article.

Campaigns for equality are often slow burners but they have to start somewhere. This newspaper salutes Muslim women who sparked this movement and wishes them well in their endeavours.