The Open Mosque, is set to open this week amid high levels of controversy surrounding itself and its founder Dr Taj Hargey. But when VOC visited the site in Lester Road, Wynberg, the mosque seemed to be still well away from being complete. The floor was still bare, showing the concrete floor of the former factory the building housed; on the wall a decorator had completed the third in a series of decorative paintings, precariously positioned on steel scaffolding.
Hargey, and his staff, were not present; but according to an unnamed man tasked with overseeing the cleaning up of the rubble of the recent construction within the building, the mosque was still set to be opened this week.
Set in an industrialized section of Wynberg, right next to a car repair centre and other factory type buildings, the mosque gives off none of the pomp or outward flamboyance seen in many other mosques in the Cape Peninsula.
Very few local scholars have added their voices to what has become an issue discussed in the public sphere by ordinary Muslims. But to those that have weighed in, like Sheikh Fakhruddien Owaisi of the Sunni Ulema Council of the Cape, say that the idea of an ‘open’ mosque is an outdated one, and is not novel. VOC