The developers behind a new mosque project in Parklands have attempted to allay fears of residents, following what it claims are “distorted” reports in the media regarding the construction of the site. The Jumuah Mosque and Cultural Centre will be the first and only purpose-built mosque, in the whole area from Milnerton, Tableview, Blouberg, up to the West Beach areas. In recent years, these areas have seen an increase in Muslim residents, particularly professionals who have relocated from other parts of the country.
Recently the plot of land earmarked for the masjid was issued with a “cease work” notice by the City of Cape Town. The developer of the project was served with the notice after residents in the community and the Parklands Homeowners Association contacted local ward councillor Nora Grose to complaint.
After being unable to track down the mosque committee, this week VOC learnt the project was being spearheaded by the Jumua Mosque and Cultural Centre of Parklands Charitable Trust.
According to the statement released by the trust, the external wall built around the complex grounds has all the required legal permits and they are awaiting approval from the City on their plans. Imraan Chand, a member of the Jumua Mosque and Cultural Centre of Parklands Charitable Trust said the piece of land was bought by a man who wanted to build a masjid for his late father.
“The Jumua mosque of Parklands is the vision of one man who wanted to build a mosque in sadaqah for his late father. He found a piece of land in Parklands that is zoned for this particular purpose and he approached the owner, purchased it and 6 months ago got a team of men together to take the project forward,” Chand said.
Commenting on the design and the facilities of the development, he said the current plans have allocated 120 parking bays if that will be suitable for the council and they are aiming for a Moroccan-style minaret.
“We are looking to facilitate 750 men and 300 ladies and like all masajid, it will have wudhu facilities plus a multipurpose centre will be available to both Muslims and non-Muslims in the community.”
In response to complaints from residents, Chand said the call to prayer in the mosque will not be a disturbance.
“The mosque compound includes sufficient parking space for the entire congregation. In specific cases such as the jumua in the future, if the congregation would become bigger and more vehicles than expected would come to the place, the mosque management will make arrangements to organize the matter avoiding inconvenience to the neighbours. In addition, the call to prayer in the Mosque will never be a cause of disturbance to the surrounding neighbours,” he noted.
He says contrary to what has been falsely reported in the media, the project is following its scheduled timeline. The discussion around the masjid received mixed emotions on Facebook with many members concerned about the noise the area will bring.
“I understand the community’s concern and if there are issues they will be addressed. With the time that we are living in there are systems in place were a house can have a speaker to hear the azaan from the masjid in their homes without disturbing the rest of the residents. So yes if those are issues then they will be addressed because we at this particular time are waiting for the plans to be approved,” Chand explained.
The new centre will see members of the community being offered free medical consultation, feeding schemes, counselling, marital, youth and drug prevention programs, and as well as regular plan of seminars and courses addressing issues of general interest.
“The founders of the Jumua Mosque and Cultural Centre of Parklands are well aware of the responsibility that falls upon their shoulders of being and active and constructive part of the larger community. The new Mosque of Parklands comprises a Cultural Centre that will welcome and will render services to the greater community, irrespective of colour, religion or nationality,” he noted. VOC (Najma Bibi Noor Mahomed)