The SF Chronicle and SF Magazine requested via UC Berkeley Journalism class to do interviews with me, Rabi'a, on two occasions, one when the mosque first opened they did a full spread on the front page of the Chronicle, I was overjoyed to get this sort of press but what I didn't know was the backlash that the Chronicle would suffer because of it. Let me first say I was grateful for the coverage in that it helped QBM to grow by leaps and bounds nationally, and internationally, everyone knows about the mosque. Locally other Muslims, many of whom I know, put up a wall towards the mosque without ever setting foot inside, without ever talking to me, or endeavoring to know more. Without sounding like a conspiracy theorist, I know the origins of this to some degree. The Islamic religious institutions are largely run or maintained by men, and women who believe like men that women have a place, a natural place if you will, in religion, and that is quiet, controlled, and looking like perhaps a prepubescent teenage girl who somehow accidentally or because of an indulgent father was allowed to stand in front of the mic and recite Quran. I don't call that progress, some do. In the wake of the SF Chronicle's first coverage, I was approached by a UC Berkeley student in the Journalism department. She, S. Asian, no hijab, wearing lipstick, a bright red, with a very open and reckless manner about her. Understand I write this in this way, because this is exactly how the students of UC Berkeley were told, according to her to write about me. To linger on my clothing, my eyes, my age, my well everything that doesn't matter, everything that re-emphasizes exactly what I am about, and what QBM is about. It's as if SF Chronicle was trying to level the playing field when this student wrote the most recent story in SF Magazine. I was offended to say the least as she assured me, lured me into believing that she would be fair, that she would contact me to allow me to rebutt anything said by the local institutions such as Zaytuna, et al. She did not. When I read the article I can't tell you how disappointed I was, and from that point on I vowed to never give another interview to the Chronicle or to any UC Berkeley Journalism student. So where does the problem lie? Both so called journalist were Muslim women, loosely applied as neither attends religious ceremonies or pray, so they are probably more like "cultural" Muslims. I would dare say they'd never write such stuff about Zaytuna, or MCA in Santa Clara or the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California. I spoke to the editor and he insisted that what I was reading was not what they intended, he felt of course that the article was fair. Despite the fact that several friends who are writers themselves and bloggers saw it and were floored by the ignorance, racism, and bigotry evident in the article. I was not allowed to rebutt the man from Zaytuna who labled me a "equalilty feminist" I've never called myself that, so where did he get that? What he didn't rebutt and can't is that nowhere in the Quran does it limit women to the status of followers in the mosques. Nor does the Quran say that women can't lead prayer, or give the Khutbah. But let's not let the Chronicle off the hook so quickly, who at UC Berkeley was influencing what these people wrote? Yes, therein as they say, lies the rub. I can only guess. I really don't have to guess. UC Berkeley is the hub for conservative male oriented and run Islam right on the campus. How does a public school become the harbor for a religious institution? Through it's MSA? Yes. They funnel in conservative Imam's to make sure that students keep getting fed the ultra conservative misogyny that is Islam right now. The Bay is an interesting place, that though we are so socially minded about so many things, it is incredibly hard to get people to pay attention to the plight of Muslim women. The Chronicle did it's bit as it was bid to do. I write this to let you know that the attacks against the mosque continue, and they will always continue, we will continue.