After the traditional call to prayer, Edina Lekovic stood in front of some 150 women seated on the floor at an interfaith center in Los Angeles, and delivered a sermon, a role traditionally reserved for Muslim men.

"We have the right and responsibility to our faith," Lekovic told the women as she stood in front of banners emblazoned in gold with verses from the Koran, Islam's holy book.

Lekovic, an activist with California's Muslim Public Affairs Council, then joined the women in kneeling in prayer in the direction of Mecca, the holiest city in Islam.

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