Mandla Mandela wades into row over ‘noisy’ Cape Town mosque
The chief of the Mvezo traditional council‚ Mandla Mandela‚ has come out in support of a call by the Zinnatul Islam masjid (also known as the Muir Street mosque) in District Six for noise bylaws in Cape Town to be revised.
Mandela’s call comes after the city of Cape Town received a noise complaint against the mosque for its daily call to prayer (athaan).
The city said on Saturday it received a complaint in terms of the Western Cape Noise Regulations (2013) as a result of an affidavit lodged by a resident with the police‚ which means it is legally compelled to investigate.
“We call for their scrapping as they perpetuate the privileges of a few elites for whom the symbolism of the athaan and the constitutional provisions of religious freedom‚ honour and dignity have no meaning‚” said Mandela.
Mandela asked how the city could classify a call to prayer and a globally respected symbol of peace as “noise”.
“This is an insult of the highest order‚ which only an arrogant DA-run city will perpetuate. We must force DA mayor Dan Plato to take responsibility for the belligerent attack on the religious symbols of our communities‚” he said.
Mandela said the Muir Street mosque and other mosques and churches in District Six were historic symbols of the people’s resistance against the brutal apartheid regime.
“We will not allow them to silence the athaan or any other religious symbol‚ such as the church bells‚ as for decades it was a powerful reminder of the resistance of a community that was displaced and ravaged by the Group Areas Act.”
The mosque said it had been “engaging the city” about the complaint‚ made by a single individual‚ and had resolved to look into the matter after the holy month of Ramadan.
“The masjid [mosque] has come to the conclusion and the position that the athaan‚ the ringing of church bells or any other call to worship can never be regarded as noise‚” said the mosque in a statement. “The masjid accepts that the city of Cape Town is obliged to process the complaint. However‚ this masjid will be embarking on a path to engage the city of Cape Town to review its bylaw that deals with noise pollution.”
Source: TMG Digital.