Cape Town - A Facebook user has apologised after posting derogatory remarks about the Muslim community.
Liam Christian Ferreira posted on the Langebaan Facebook page saying: “I think its a crime the (sic) no one is sanding (standing) up to those muslim bastards (sic) blaring their call to pray 5 times a day over massive speakers. Why do i need to put up with an Arabic tradition created in the dessert (sic) thousands of years ago. Stand up for yourselves !!! Burn it down!!!”
After the post caused a stir on social media, Ferreira told the Cape Argus on Tuesday: “I would like to alert you to the fact that a formal apology has already been submitted, through intermediaries, to the leadership of the mosque concerned. I have been informed that the apology has subsequently been accepted. On top of that, the post has been removed.
“I have also endeavoured to reply to as many messages sent to me as I can, with the same apology and have entered into FB post a 'remnant of apartheid' discussion with many people,” said Ferreira.
Shaykh Irafaan Abrahams, the president of the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC), said Ferreira had apologised since making the post on New Year’s Day.
“I was duly informed of his apology for his incitement of violence as a grave misjudgement, which he further described as a metaphor poorly executed, since removed and apologised for,” said Abrahams.
He said he was ready to meet Ferreira to talk about the post.
Abrahams said through dialogue and personal interaction the misconceptions regarding Islam and its practices could be understood and appreciated.
“This attitude is remnants of apartheid which have deprived persons of enjoying a personal living experience with Muslims. Since the apartheid system, with its racist ideology of separate development of communities based upon ethnicity, we have seen Muslims labelled as Malay, coloured or Indian. So we see that, generally, the white and black communities have been deprived of this personal engagement with Islam,” he said.
Abrahams said the constitution of the country permits freedom of religion, freedom of expression, until it infringes on the rights of others or until it incites violence against a person or property.
Cape Town Interfaith Initiative’s James Ellam said: “I pray peace and blessings on Liam that he may have a change of heart and recognise these Muslim sisters and brothers of his that he does not yet know.”
Ellam said they were an organisation that promoted respect for the other, and asked people to respect each other’s cultures and traditions, and people must tolerate and educate themselves.