Strong emotions outside Cape Town ‘open’ mosque

2014-09-19 16:02

Cape Town - Cape Town residents exchanged strong words about "open religion" outside what proclaims to be South Africa's first gender-equal, non-sectarian mosque on Friday.

Around 10 Muslim men in religious robes stood in front of the gate of the Wynberg open mosque, founded by Dr Taj Hargey, refusing to let people in for its inaugural prayer session at 13:00.

One of the mosque-goers, who did not identify himself, pushed through and shouted at the men.

"South Africa has got a great Constitution. What did you fight apartheid for? Not this crap!" he said, before managing to squeeze through the closing door.

The men moved to the side but still voiced their displeasure at a large throng of reporters and TV cameras.

Shaheem Vardien, from Manenberg, said Hargey was creating "mischief" among Christians, Jews, and Muslims.

"Is this what we want in Cape Town? No, no. If I fall dead right now, what is going to happen to my children? They are going to enter a mosque like this? Not while I am alive, maybe when I am dead yes," Vardien said.

He insisted that they were not radicals and had practised their religion peacefully in Cape Town for 300 years.

All sects of Muslims welcome

However, the building should be called an open place of worship and not a mosque, as it insulted the religion.

Hargey's mosque welcomed all sects of Muslims, non-Muslims and women to take part in the sermon.

Public order policing vans lined the road close to the unassuming green industrial building, sandwiched between auto-repair workshops.

At 13:00, a group of people entered the mosque from a steel gate on the side of the building, accompanied by three police officers and the media.

Inside, people laid their boots and takkies on metal shelves and kneeled on an emerald green carpet laid across half the cement floor.

Women in headscarves gingerly made their way to chairs or the carpet, not separated by partitions or walls.

Bags of cement and building materials were piled to the side and the odour of carpet glue wafted across the room.

The wall was peppered with the words: "There is no deity except God. Muhammed is the messenger of God." Hargey was to deliver a sermon on the nexus between Islam and Christianity.

  • Johann Enslin - 2014-09-19 16:11

    So practice it without imposing your views on others.

      MG - 2014-09-19 16:26

      Please people, this is not a mosque. Dr. Taj is free to practice as he pleases, but, if what he practices is contrary to the teachings of Islam, he has no right to high jack the pure and pristine teachings, pervert it, then still regard himself as one of us. This is more like a mixed community centre for those who insist on calling themselves Muslims, but reject the very teachings of Islam. Sounds illogical right??? Yes, It certainly is!!!

      Ian Despy - 2014-09-19 16:42

      MG..Pure and pristine? Please you need to read the Koran again because you obviously did not read it correctly the first time. Killing the non believers and the infedel because they do not practice what the Koran stipulates. Mutilating the genetails of women, stoning women to death because they were raped. WOW MAN PURE AND PRISTINE IS IT NOT?

      Nigel Vos - 2014-09-19 16:46

      If there is any trouble regarding religion world wide 99.99% of the time there is one or more Muslims involved.

      Thuto Moloi - 2014-09-19 16:48

      In many religions, homosexuality is still a big challenge, including Christianity. I am not homophobic or religious, but i know that most of the Jews, Christians etc, do not except gay people into their place of worship. So they cannot judge the muslims for having the same reaction.

  • Lwando Barayi - 2014-09-19 16:13

    I hope this is not a plan to embroil SA in a war with Islamist extremists. According to media reports the person who built this Mosque is not a South African. Why didn't he do this in his own country?

      Louise Cook - 2014-09-19 16:30

      Because South Africa is a free country and most of us South Africans, including our Muslim community, choose peace in our country. Hopefully the fear and prejudice among some SA Christians about Muslims in general, will subside over time. However, there will always be religious fanatics on both sides, Christian and Muslem, fortunately mostly outside our country.

      Lwando Barayi - 2014-09-19 16:37

      @Louise, are you trying to tell me that SA is the only democratic country with peace loving people? I don't think so.

      David Goldberg - 2014-09-19 16:39

      The guy who built this mosque is an imam and is from South Africa..he was born and grew up in Wynberg but now lives in the UK

      Lwando Barayi - 2014-09-19 16:45

      @David, more reasons for the mosque to be in UK not SA. Why did he build a mosque with difference only to be experienced by other people? It just doesn't make sense.

      Ag no please not again....... - 2014-09-19 17:00

      Come on this is the 21st Century - your very own constitution provides for freedom of religious expression without the interference of a radical male dominated rabble. Why can you not accept that this African sun may shine on all not just a few intolerant narrow minded bigots and sexists of any race whomever the hell you may be - my favourite phrase "get a life"

  • Ronald Gibson - 2014-09-19 16:19

    Oh, so people may be prevented from practicing their religion or version thereof, or even killed and maimed, but look skew at Islam and they pull a jihad on you. The Americans had a good expression for this - "Man speak with forked tongue".

  • Freeway Afrika - 2014-09-19 16:23

    it wud be nice to know what good has religion brought to this beutiful world.....

  • Louise Cook - 2014-09-19 16:25

    Christian churches have fairly recently also gone through heated emotional strife among them due to prejudice against gays, women, etc. This was reported in the Afr press. Anyway, it's nice to know as a non-Muslim I'm welcome to attend. Obviously one would try not to offend with ones dress code, and covering ones head with a scarf would probably be appropriate. This is a way to break down ignorance, prejudice and barriers among South Africans about each other - it deserves support.

  • Dan Danukdhari - 2014-09-19 16:26

    Harjey is promoting-Love,peace,equality between religions and sexes how can that be wrong,God bless him well done

  • Imraan Turpin - 2014-09-19 16:27

    So rightly what one worshiper said we have a great constitution. But does he know the constitution states the following on religion. Freedom of Religion and the practices there in. In accordance with Islam women are to be separated from men during worship and women cannot lead in congregational prayer .So if one is to disobey the teaching of Islam then they need to accept the punishment that comes with that teaching and the constitution is in agreement with that as is clearly states the Freedom of Religion and the practices there in

      Alan Yates - 2014-09-19 16:49

      True religious freedom has the following Characteristics: (1) All Religions can build churches, temples, other stuctures like mosques etc in ANY country. (2) All religions can freely proselytize/evangelise in ANY country. (3) There is freedom for any person to leave or join any religion at any time in ANy country. (4) There is NO DEATH PENALTY for leaving ANY religion. The above are true HUMAN RIGHTS. Complete Religious freedom needs to come to ALL Moslem Majority countries...Free Mosque Building cannot be allowed on Non Moslem Majority countries without the same rights for religions OTHER THAN ISLAM in those same Moslem Majority States. Nazis positioned themselves as a "Master Race". Islam positions itself as a "Master Faith" tolerating NO OTHERS as equal. This then gives rise to: HAMAS, ISIS, AL QUEDA, BOKO etc. It has been ongoing since Mohamed who started the ideology and "GENDER APARTHEID" of Islam. As a Christian, no Moslem can ever tell me that God has no son (Jesus is God's Son). Moslems must, by law if necessary, be compelled to tolerate and "affirmative action" my beliefs (and those of Bhuddists, Hindus, Jains etc.) if they demand, as they do, theirs to be equally tolerated and "affirmative actioned".

  • Debbie Myburgh - 2014-09-19 16:30

    Give more info Lwando please. You must see the community I grew up in...we have an influx of muslims from other countries...there are 3 mosques 1km apart from each other...the singing over the loudhaler is enough to drive you mad. It is so loud you have nothing to break the sound with. Sometimes it's 3-4 times a day, sometimes it's as early as 04:00. Four o'clock you are being rudely awakened by that sound!!

  • Dicky Dido - 2014-09-19 16:33

    In the UK there are many of these...I wish they were not even allowed to have started. They might be all prayers and good now, but wait, and they will explode blurting out their hatred to all those not converted.Stop them now.Over here there is rape and they have their own laws.....which certainly are not human or ours.

  • Aqua BlueAfrica - 2014-09-19 16:40

    be wary my friends. .according to the muslim religeon if you are not muslim you are an infidel who must be eliminated. .killed! this is contrary to christian religion where love for people is at the core of Gods command.

  • Aqua BlueAfrica - 2014-09-19 16:49

    @craig. .neither in Scotland. .what kind of a Mac arrr yu?

  • Aqua BlueAfrica - 2014-09-19 17:00

    . .yeah but promotes terrorism Sumaiya, so what would it be then?Racism can be overcome by love. .

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