"It is an infringement of my right to be left alone to believe as I will and not to invade the air above me for religious purposes," writes Cape Argus reader, CL Lombard. Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency(ANA)

It is sometimes so amazing that rhetoric becomes fact. 

When ordinary citizens complain about noise from mosques because they have no choice but to listen to it, then the rhetoric, as expected, is to shout religious intolerance. It is not religious intolerance. It is what it is, a noise disturbance.

Religious intolerance is to call all to prayer whether you want to hear it or not. It is an infringement of my right to be left alone to believe as I will and not to invade the air above me for religious purposes. According to common law the air above all our properties is our property and any noise or sound or religious words or drones is an invasion of my property and privacy.

The Constitution of South Africa has adopted a secular state wherein all citizens can play and pray as they wish.

Thus, you may practise any religion as long as it does not infringe on my right not to believe.

The Bill of Rights is quite clear that there should be tolerance. I therefore ask the Muslim leaders and community to respect our rights and be tolerant.

Shouting out a religious prayer over the airwaves is calling us “disbelievers and infidels” because we do not hurry to salvation. It is forcing us to listen to it day in and day out.

It is intolerant and a legal case against it will be applicable just by the words “abuse” and “violate” in the Bill of Rights.

They have no right to advertise their faith in such an oppressive and disturbing manner. It has a detrimental effect on ordinary citizens because it abuses and violates our right not to be confronted by any religion. The time of using culture, religion or language as basis for infringing on human rights is long gone. This disregard of the rights of people not of the Muslim faith is extremely divisive and communities lose their cohesion over a religion that should be private and not public.

It is time the Muslim community adheres to our Constitution that provides all citizens the right not to practise any religion and not use the private and public air above us for their religious advertisements.

* CL Lombard, Somerset West.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

*** To comment on this story, write to [email protected] Responses must include full names, addresses, and contact details (not for publication).

Cape Argus