The Knysna community has recently appealed to neighbouring Muslim communities to support their intention for the establishment of a Masjid in the attractive tourist town. The Knysna area currently houses some 250 Muslim residents and provides two salah rooms for prayers.
The Knysna Muslim Council’s Riedwaan Omar told VOC News that due to the large influx of holiday-goers during the holiday periods, the community has fallen short of providing adequate facilities for daily prayers and more so for Jumuah on Fridays. Capetonians visiting Knsyna on vacation often have to travel for an hour to the George mosque for Friday Jumuah prayers.
“We have had this plan to establish a mosque in the area to accommodate the growing number of Muslims in Knysna. As it is a quite diverse group of Muslims from various parts of the world, we feel that this mosque will bring the community together, under one roof and with one common goal,” Omar said.
While the land has already been purchased and rezoned by the council, the Knysna municipality has been approached by a number of complainants whom have opposed this establishment. Omar said some of the complaints levelled centred around the concern of “noise pollution” which the call to prayer will supposedly bring to the area.
“The land we have earmarked for the establishment of this mosque is in a location that is considered a CBD area,” Omar explained.
“Where the call to prayer is concerned; there is always an issue with people who are uninformed about Islam. We are trying to compare that to other sounds that you might also find in such a central location. The call is only for about three minutes, five times a day. Other concerns are that it is built in a nature conservation area. Complainants are claiming that the area is a more residential area than CBD.”
The salah khanah’s available in Knysna are available for people who live in close proximity to it. However, currently the prayer rooms are overflowing.
Individuals who are interested in supporting the appeal by the council can email a motivational letter about how this mosque is not only needed in the community but the purpose it will serve to the many Muslims residing and flowing through Knysna
Email letters of support to firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com and cc firstname.lastname@example.org. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)