The event, which came amid heavy police security, was held at the Synod House, a small chapel next to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan's Upper West Side. Other locations refused to host the event due to threats."I don't want to change Muslim mosques. I want to encourage the hearts of Muslims to believe that they are equal," Wadud said at a crowded news conference before the service, adding she wished to help remove "artificial and inconvenient restrictions" aimed at Muslim women.Back on July 29, 1974 - Episcopal feminists ordained despite rules:
Fifteen hundred people crowded the sanctuary of the Episcopal Church of the Advocate in Philadelphia to witness this confrontation with church rules and authority. A banner shouted Paul's words: "In Christ there is neither male nor female." Bishop Corrigan asked if there was any known impediment to ordination of the eleven. "Yes," shouted several. Five priests stepped forward to take the microphones. What was about to be done was illegal and divisive they said. They could not state all the reasons for their view. For much of church history, women were barred from ordination. The reasons were many. Women held chattel-like status throughout much of history. Their parental and nurturing roles often made it impractical for them to be active as leaders. Many men were (and are) reluctant to accept instruction from women.More on the history of footdragging by the Episcopal Church here.