The country is currently in a dazed state of hyper-emotional over an array of topics. We as people are feeling the effects of so many things and for the most part, find ourselves in an almost constant state of questioning. This, however, seem to be branching into religion, with people becoming more religiously intolerant of others. This follows a mosque in Centurion, Pretoria, being told to lower the Islamic call to prayer.
On 28 August 2020, the Newcastillian – Online Daily News reported how the Madrasah Taleemuddeen Islamic Institute in Isipingo Beach, KwaZulu-Natal, would be appealing a Durban High Court judgment which limits the Islamic call to prayer. This is after a resident said it disturbed his peace and enjoyment of his property.
In the High Court judgment, Judge Sidwell Mngadi described the complainant from lsipingo Beach, south of Durban, as an individual who is unashamedly opposed to the Islamic faith.
However, Mngadi ordered the Madrasah to ensure its call to prayer is not at a level which is audible within the complainant’s home. But it must also not negatively impact the Madrasah in any way which it practises its religion.
While criminal charges are now being brought against the complainant, who had the call to prayer silenced, and the Madrasah Taleemuddeen Islamic Institute is taking the necessary steps to appeal the court order.
Yet in the wake of this, it seems the Pretoria Muslim community now have to deal with similar issues.
Not long after the Durban High Court ruling, the City of Tshwane’s health department has now issued a similar notice to the Raslouw Jamaat Khana in Centurion. The notice has ordered the mosque to lower the Azaan with immediate effect. According to the notice, if the mosque fails to comply, there will be legal action.
Lindela Mashigo, director of media relations in Tshwane, claims the city had received numerous complaints from a plethora of residents, which includes homeowners from neighbouring townhouse complexes, who objected to the Azaan.
Mashigo claims the case was investigated and has stated, expert inputs were sourced from a noise expert in the health department, as to allude on this specific complaint.
Furthermore, he states the zoning certificate indicates that the ERF is zoned as agricultural, adding there is no record for consent by the City of Tshwane’s Economic Development and Spatial Planning Department to utilise the ERF for a place of public worship.
The case was apparently referred to building control for further investigation.
Mahomed Essop, a councillor in the neighbouring ward, has said he was trying to get the matter resolved, but in the interim, mosque officials have lowered the volume of the Azaan. However, as he works on the issue, he says officials from the mosque are both hurt and disappointed.
Dr Faisal Suliman of the South African Muslim Network has stressed, it was important for individuals and groups, whether cultural or religious, to learn how to exercise tolerance and respect in the pursuit of individual civil liberties.
While the necessary communities and authorities working on the situation, what are your thoughts on the matter? Share your thoughts and views with us in the comment section below.
Authors: Quinton Boucher and Calvin Swemmer
Edited: Calvin Swemmer