The construction of the Gordons Bay Masjid is fast approaching, with the Gordons Bay Islamic Society having recently received approval for the rezoning of the land proposed for the development. The construction plans, which may now be submitted by the Islamic Society to the City Council, are expected to be finalised within the next two weeks. However, despite positive strides, there remains some resistance to the masjid.
“We have received the approval from the Municipal Planning Tribunal to proceed with the rezoning, but there was then an appeal by a group of residents,” said chairperson of the Gordons Bay Islamic Society, Cassim Peer, updating VOC on the latest developments in the masjid’s construction.
“That appeal was heard by the Mayoral Appeal Committee [and] Alhamdulillah we are pleased to announce that the decision was very positive and that they [the appeal committee] rejected the appeal by residents… they [the appeal committee] have concluded the matter as far as the City Council is concerned.
The application for rezoning has been approved and we may now submit plans for construction”
Peer says that the Islamic Society estimates that roughly 100 Muslim families live in the area. He added that although there have been strong objections against the construction of the masjid by some residents, most in the community are now congratulatory.
“We have records of 65 families and we estimate that there’s probably about 100 Muslim families…We know that there are people who continue to move into the area – particularly the younger generation…who are coming here to settle. We hope that once the structures are up and the masjid is running, the community will be consolidated. We’ll have a madressa and dawa centre at the masjid so that people around the area can know what Islam is,” said Peer.
“We have received a message of congratulations form the Gordons Bay Residents Association. Most people were positive [about the development moving forward] and congratulated us, but having said that, there is a small group which will not be satisfied or pleased with anything we do.”
“In the past few weeks we have had letters in the local paper by individuals still objecting and coming with Islamophobic arguments – nothing technical which can be addressed.”
Those looking to contribute to the construction of the masjid, or who would like to assist in any other way, can contact the Gordons Bay Islamic Society on Facebook.
“We are going ahead and we are not going to let these things derail or hinder us. We hope Allah SWT makes it easy…We want to reach out to these people as well.”