Voice of the Cape

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‘The athaan a symbol of Cape Town’s diversity and multi-cultural legacy’

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There’s been an outpouring of support for the Zeenatul Islam masjid’s right to carry out the call to prayer with many praising the religious vibrance of the Cape Town community. On social media, many Capetonians have expressed their disappointment and anger, after a complaint was lodged with the City of Cape Town over the athaan being broadcast on the mosque’s loudspeakers.

The complaint, which is cited as a “noise nuisance”, is being investigated by the City of Cape Town. The City said it was legally obliged to investigate as the resident had lodged the complaint with the South African Police Service (SAPS) in terms of the Western Cape Noise Regulations (2013) act.  A petition has been launched in support of the masjid.

In a thread that sparked a huge reaction on social media, former journalist Gasant Abarder urged the public not to support any petition as this would give credence to the one complaint.

In a statement on Sunday, the Zenatul Islam masjid said the athaan has rung out in the community for the past 100 years and had become part of its heritage.

“The masjid’s position is that the Athaan has been rendered audibly by the best means available since its inception in 1919. This continued through District Six’s establishment in Cape Town as a vibrant community and continued through the forced removals. The call to prayer still exists today and the masjid has become part of the social fabric of the greater Cape Town area, together with the churches that remain and were also resistant to the apartheid government, ” read the statement by the masjid.

Even politicians have weighed into the matter, with  Mandla Mandela, the grandson of Nelson Mandela, questioning how the athaan can be classified as “noise”.

“This is an insult of the highest order, which only an arrogant DA-run city will perpetuate. We must force DA mayor Dan Plato to take responsibility for the belligerent attack on the religious symbols of our communities,” he said.

“We will not allow them to silence the Athaan or any other religious symbol, such as the church bells, as for decades it was a powerful reminder of the resistance of a community that was displaced and ravaged by the Group Areas Act.”

Outgoing premier Helen Zille said she would look into the case once she returns to Cape Town.

Media commentator Iqbal Jassat urged the City of Cape Town to reject the complaint.

Others say this is the result of gentrification and urban development in the heart of the city – which is eating away at the heritage and culture of certain communities.

Ordinary Capetonians, many who are not Muslim, believe the athaan is symbolic of Cape Town’s unique religious and cultural traditions and exemplifies a religious pluralism not seen in other parts of the world. Many said they had grown up with the sound of the athaan being called in their neighbourhood and that it was a testament to the peaceful co-existence between all faiths in District Six and elsewhere.

So the City of Cape Town is busy dealing with a noise complaint lodged against the Muir Street Mosque.This is literally…

Posted by Bobby Brown on Monday, 13 May 2019

 

 


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2 comments

  1. Problems like this was sure to come about . Muslims voting for zionist controlled DA . Shame on you , now crying foul . I sincerely hope you cape town muslims have learned who is there for the muslims in hours of need . And who is against muslims and islam in particular

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