Cape Town - Muslim organisations are outraged by the recent vandalism of one of the 10 kramats that were declared National Heritage Sites.
The Sheikh Noorul Mubeen kramat in Oudekraal near Camps Bay was vandalised by unknown perpetrators at the weekend. After completing his daily morning prayers, caretaker Roopen Abdurahman found profane language sprayed across the wall of the building and immediately alerted the Cape Mazaars Society (CMS).
Mahmoud Limbada, chairperson of the CMS said: “This is not the work of religious zealots. They should not use the kramats to forward their agendas. It is a shame that Sheikh Noorul Mubeen, which is one of the 10 kramats declared National Heritage Sites only last week, had to be vandalised. The Cape Mazaar Society condemns this delinquent act in the strongest terms.”
The building sits at the top of 99 steps that have to be climbed up from Victoria Road along the mountain slope.
Cape Town Ulama Board secretary-general Sheikh Sayed Ridhwaan said: “We are disturbed at the fact that someone actually took time to walk up the mountain to specifically vandalise the kramat. The mere fact that they knew they are vandalising a religious site is indeed a shame.”
This was one of 10 kramats that were declared National Heritage Sites on December 3. As part of the process, neighbours of the kramat buildings, land owners and the ordinary public were consulted as to whether the kramats should get the status. Limbada said remarkably there was no objection.
“During the public participation, we had overwhelming support and not one objection from the public, which is unbelievable. Now that the kramats are in the limelight, people are looking at the kramats in a new light since the declaration,” Limbada said.
Ridhwaan said they suspect that this was an act by anti-vaxxer groups.
“It could be a message from an anti-Sufi group or an anti-vaxxer who aims to put the heritage status to the test.
“We are not sure of the exact intentions, but we can say it was a planned act that was carried out.”
Limbada said extra precautions are being taken to prevent this from happening again.
The CMS has opened a case of vandalism at the Camps Bay police station and the matter is under investigation. They have appealed to the public to come forward with any information that could help be helpful.
Anyone with information can contact Crime Stop anonymously at 08600 10111 or via the MySAPSApp.