The Mevlana Rumi Mosque in Edmonton celebrated International Women’s Day by announcing its first female chief executive.
Seval Gokce was unveiled at Mevlana Rumi Mosque in Fore Street, making her one of only a handful of females in the same role across the country.
Her appointment was marked during a breakfast event held at the religious venue alongside Edmonton MP Kate Osamor and Enfield’s deputy mayor Bernadette Lappage.
Ms Gokce said she was looking forward to working together with the local community, of any gender or religion.
She said: “I am going out of my comfort zone by taking on this role, but we all need to do that sometimes.
“I do work in a male-dominated mosque, but they have been so wonderful and supportive – as a teacher, I wasn’t expecting it, usually I have people running in the other direction when they see me. I have only been here six weeks, so I have been learning fast, and I’m looking forward to learning more in the future.”
In an official press release, the Mevalan Rumi Mosque stated that:
Mrs Gokce will be responsible for all matters pertaining to the management of the mosque. The Trustees ask that she builds on the mosque’s practice to date to offer an inclusive, wide reaching, warm and engaging model that is in tune both with the contemporary needs of British Muslims as well as the issues and concerns of wider society.
We are delighted to make this appointment. While we are aware of the rarity of a woman heading a well-established UK mixed mosque we would like to point out that Seval was not appointed due to her gender but because we genuinely believe that she is the best person for the job. While this is a change of sector for her, we are confident that with her skill set and the support of the community she will make an excellent Executive Director of Mevlana Rumi Mosque.