Cape’s ‘Open Mosque’ attacked again
Cape Town - Police are investigating an attack on Cape Town’s controversial “Open Mosque”, after it was rammed with a 4X4 vehicle and the caretaker was held at gunpoint.
Dr Taj Hargey opened the mosque, at 4 Lester Road, Wynberg, on September 19 - and has since been embroiled in debate within the local Muslim community around the status of women in Islam.
Hargey had invited Muslim women “to celebrate the end of the hajj pilgrimage on Sunday” (October 4) but the night before the building suffered an arson attack and was extensively damaged.
Last weekend, in a second attack, shortly after 3am on Sunday, a white Toyota Fortuner smashed open the double steel garage doors through which the mosque is accessed.
The caretaker was inside when two men in the vehicle used its power and its robust front bull bar to buckle and force open the doors, a source who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Cape Argus.
Once inside, however, the men noticed that a closed-circuit television monitoring system in the mosque’s office was recording their every move.
The men then held up the caretaker at gunpoint and began ripping out wires.
They took the computer’s hard drive, on which their movements had been recorded and fled.
The police were alerted and a criminal case was opened.
As part of the ongoing controversy, Hargey had the previous week invited Muslim women to visit the mosque to attend the Eid prayer, saying: “The Open Mosque warmly welcomes all female worshippers as full and equal participants.
“While it is common for most Muslim women throughout South Africa to remain at home and not attend Eid al-Adha prayers, this pernicious form of gender apartheid was not sanctioned by the Prophet Muhammad himself.
“For the first time, Muslim women will be at the centre stage and heart of Eid devotions in a mosque.”
The event took place despite the arson attack.
Similarly, the mosque remains open after the recent attack.