The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) has categorically denied rumours that it has called a protest at the launch of the Open Mosque on Friday. A message circulating on social chat group Whatsapp states that the ulema body has called for the community to protest the controversial place of worship, being opened in Lester road in Wynberg on Friday.
MJC deputy president Sheikh Riad Fataar said: “The message does not come from the MJC and we have not put out any statement to that affect.”
The message appears to stem from the United Ulema Council’s secretary-general Shaykh Ibn al-Fikr Fulaani. This is not to be confused with the United Ulema Council of South Africa (UUCSA), considered the legitimate body representing various ulema groups in the country.
The message states: “News of a Qadiani place of worship opening in Cape Town has caused concern amongst the Muslim community. We strongly condemn the opening of this so called “open mosque….”
“We urge the community to stay away from this devious group masquerading as upright progressive Muslims. We support the call of the MJC not to call it a mosque. A march is planned for Friday the 19th to have this place closed down permanently. Please support this as we support the Palestinians.”
The matter has raised the alarm within the Cape Muslim community, who feel the concept of the Open Mosque goes against traditional Islamic practices. Open Mosque founder Dr Taj Hargey has been labelled as a divisive figure as he rejects the MJC’s authority in the Western Cape. He has also been accused of launching this mosque under the guise of Ahmadiism.
Ahmadi followers are considered to be out of the fold of Islam by mainstream Sunnis and Shia’s as they do not regard the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to be the last messenger.
The MJC has refused to wade into the matter until its investigation is concluded. Meanwhile, members of the ulema have been called to an urgent meeting on Thursday at the MJC offices to discuss the issue.
“MJC president Maulana Igsaan Hendricks has called for an emergency meeting for all imams in the MJC boardroom at 11am. The attendance of the imams is vital.” VOC