Cape Town had a liberal, open mosque for a short time, but it has now been closed.
South Africa’s first gay-friendly mosque, which also allows women to lead prayers, is being ordered close.
A City of Cape Town councillor says the newly established Open Mosque has violated municipal by-laws.
The mosque officially opened its doors on Friday despite criticism from members of the local Muslim community.
Note the discreet bullying in that last sentence; note the covert way it frames the progressive mosque as an intruder and a foreigner; note the veiled way it sides with the reactionaries by calling them members of the local Muslim community; note the way the BBC always sides with membership and localism and community when it comes to issues to do with Islam; note how very reactionary and obstructive that is, and how creepily unfair to the people who want to be treated as equals. Note that the BBC is subtly siding with the reactionaries against gays and women.
News24 tells us more about the Open Mosque, September 19:
Cape Town residents exchanged strong words about “open religion” outside what proclaims to be South Africa’s first gender-equal, non-sectarian mosque on Friday.
Around 10 Muslim men in religious robes stood in front of the gate of the Wynberg open mosque, founded by Dr Taj Hargey, refusing to let people in for its inaugural prayer session at 13:00.
One of the mosque-goers, who did not identify himself, pushed through and shouted at the men.
“South Africa has got a great Constitution. What did you fight apartheid for? Not this crap!” he said, before managing to squeeze through the closing door.
The men moved to the side but still voiced their displeasure at a large throng of reporters and TV cameras.
Shaheem Vardien, from Manenberg, said Hargey was creating “mischief” among Christians, Jews, and Muslims.
By not treating women and gays as obvious inferiors and subordinates.
Hargey’s mosque welcomed all sects of Muslims, non-Muslims and women to take part in the sermon.
Public order policing vans lined the road close to the unassuming green industrial building, sandwiched between auto-repair workshops.
At 13:00, a group of people entered the mosque from a steel gate on the side of the building, accompanied by three police officers and the media.
Inside, people laid their boots and takkies on metal shelves and kneeled on an emerald green carpet laid across half the cement floor.
Women in headscarves gingerly made their way to chairs or the carpet, not separated by partitions or walls.
Imagine the horror! Women not shoved to the back but treated like human beings.
But that won’t do, so Cape Town has now shut the mosque down. Brilliant.