Cape Town - The Muslim Judicial Council and over a hundred Islamic scholars have warned Muslims to stay away from the “Open Mosque” which opens for prayers in Wynberg on Friday.

The MJC issued a statement on Thursday night denouncing it. A special meeting was convened for 110 representatives of various mosques and institutions.

In a statement, the MJC said the unanimous conclusion was that the “Open Mosque” flouted the premises of Islam, and Cape Town Muslims should avoid it.

The statement, signed by MJC president Maulana Ihsaan Hendricks, said: “We therefore strongly advise our community to absolutely refrain from attending the so-called ‘Open Mosque’ based on their interpretation of aspects of Islam that clearly contradicts Qur’anic and Prophetic directives as well as centuries of Islamic scholarship.”

The “Open Mosque” has been founded by Wynberg-born, Oxford-based Muslim academic Dr Taj Hargey, who received death and bomb threats about the mosque earlier this week.

The United Ulama Council of SA urged its members to march against the mosque on Friday.

But on Thursday night, Hargey said the threatening phone calls had subsided, and he hoped for a calm and successful opening day.

“If people come and protest I hope it will be peaceful. The younger generation is very eager to come, and others can come just for curiosity - come see something different.”

The mosque will allow women to not only pray alongside men, but also to lead prayers and be part of the board of directors.

In the statement Hendricks said: “Islam clearly delineates the roles of men and women on an equitable basis in all spheres of life. That includes the morality, ethics and etiquette of mosques in Islam.”

Hendricks said the “Open Mosque” might purport to be Qur’an-centric, but ignored key directives within the holy book.

 

The statement was silent on the issue of violent threats which have been levelled at the mosque and its founder.

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Cape Argus