Valhalla mosque Islamophobia claim referred to CRL Commission

2016-05-11 21:07
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SABC journalist schools Valhalla community leader over mosque

2016-04-19 11:19

Watch as SABC reporter Palesa Chubisi takes on Valhalla, Pretoria community leader Richard Botha over residents' opposition to the building of a mosque in the area.WATCH

Johannesburg – The Human Rights Commission (HRC) has referred a complaint about alleged Islamophobia and hate speech in relation to the building of the Valhalla mosque to the the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities.

In a letter addressed to former Crime Line head, Yusuf Abramjee, the HRC said they had approached the CRL Commission on his behalf due to the "gravity" of the complaint.

“After careful assessment, the Commission has established that the CRL Commission is the most appropriate institution to assess and investigate your matter taking into account that institution’s specific constitutional mandate,” the letter reads.

Abramjee had lodged a complaint with the HRC in relation to several distasteful posts on social media and hate speech aimed at South African Muslims regarding a mosque that was to be erected in Valhalla, Pretoria.

The Muslim community in the area submitted a proposal to buy the land to the city in 2013. The trust was later notified that the city council would not sell the land but would award it to the trust as a donation because the city viewed the proposal as an opportunity to create social cohesion and promote diversity in the area.

Opposed construction

In April, News24 reported that some Valhalla residents opposed the construction of the mosque and threatened to slaughter pigs on the land while others insinuated it could become a breeding ground for members of terrorist group, ISIS. 

Many residents expressed concern about the call to prayer over a loudspeaker five times a day and the amount of parking space in the vicinity.

But the chairperson of the Tshwane Trust, Yaseen Abdul, said at the time they planned to use technology that would enable a call to prayer via cellphones and transmitters in Muslim homes so that non-Muslims would not be able to hear it.

Abramjee told News24 on Wednesday he was happy the matter would now be handled by the CRL Commission and also that it was not necessary for him to lodge a new complaint.

"The letter by the Human Rights Commission is definitely welcomed and I am pleased that they submitted it to the CRL commission on my behalf," he said. 

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  religion

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