KwaZulu-Natal based attorney Yacoob Baig has laid charges against Isipingo resident Chandra Ellaurie for crimen injuria, blasphemy and hate speech at the Isipingo police station. This after Ellaurie won a court application to have the athaan at the Madrasah Taleemuddeen Islamic Institute in Ispingo Beach silenced. In his court application, Ellaurie cited the athaan as “disturbing” his peace and the enjoyment of his property, which Baig says is a “blatant intolerance of Islam”.
Judge Sidwell Mngadi ruled that the madrasah must ensure that calls to prayer made from its property are not audible within the buildings of Ellaurie’s property some 20 metres away. In his judgment, Judge Mngadi said the applicant, who is Hindu, was “unashamedly opposed” to the Islamic faith propagated by the madrasah.
Judge Mngadi said he had described it as a “foreign sound” which invaded his private space. He said Ellaurie had contended that the call to prayer gave the suburb a “distinctly Muslim atmosphere”.
“He unashamedly stated that Islam advocates and perpetuates sexism and racism. This misconception has serious implications and must be vigorously challenged. These baseless untruths must be debunked and the misconception corrected. It is irresponsible to make religious inflammatory remarks without proper knowledge of the principles and disciplines that underpin Islam. It is quite obvious that he has an inherent anti-islamic agenda which needs to be unmasked and punitive consequences must be considered,” said Baig.
Several constitutional law experts have argued that the judgment is wrong in law and does not consider South Africa’s constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion and to practise religious activity.
Baig has requested that the matter be handled by the Equality Court.