Cape residents fuming after Iman axed for being 'too old'
More than 2000 people gathered outside Masjidur Ragmaan in Ryston Road on Friday to sign a petition calling for 75-year-old Imam Abdurachmaan Ariefdien to be reinstated.
Resident Kashiefa Mohammed says musallees (people performing salah) got a skrik (fright) when they heard Ariefdien had been handed a dismissal letter just over a week ago, informing him that his services will be terminated on 15 January.
“He had just made salaah and was outside in the courtyard when someone just gave him a letter saying he is too old to be an imam there,” she says.
“That man is a respected religious leader who has served the community for 35 years and they disrespect him like that.”
According to the letter, the committee says they cannot afford to have two imams at the mosque and that Ariefdien has “surpassed the legal retirement age”.
Kashiefa says the community called for a meeting with the mosque committee to discuss the issue.
“We want him reinstated and have indicated that we will not be giving donations to the mosque on a Friday anymore until they meet with us,” she says.
“His age has no impact on his ability to be an imam and two weeks before he got that letter, he was the one who marched on two skollies (thugs) who set a house on fire and were robbing people in Hanover Park.”
The mosque committee’s Mogamat Noor Carr confirms the Imam was given his marching orders.
“We took the decision based on the finances and his age. The letter was given to him in the courtyard because the person could not find him inside,” he says, adding that they get little funds.
“People who want to hold back [money] from the mosque are in the hands of the Almighty.
Ariefdien told Daily Voice that he got legal advice not to comment at this stage.