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South Africa to Shut Down Gay-friendly Mosque

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South Africa Pro Gay Mosque

South Africa’s first gay-friendly mosque, called the “Open Mosque”  is sparking quite a bit of controversy.

The mosque has been described as extremely liberal, allowing women to lead prayers, and showing tolerance for gay individuals.

Authorities in Cape Town, where the mosque is located, are planning on shutting it down, BBC reports.

Taj Hargey, the founder of the mosque, alleges that city council is trying to close the mosque by using “ridiculous” by-laws as an excuse.

” I will not be threatened by them or anyone else. We have freedom of religion and expression in this country. No-one has the right to tell anyone what to believe in. This is a gender equal mosque, autonomous and independent and will remain so,” he said.

However, city councilor, Ganief Hendrickshas stated that plans to shut down the mosque have nothing to do with its liberal stance. He stated that Hargey had converted the building from a warehouse to a mosque, without considering the health and safety implications. He also said that the building violated violated municipal by-laws by not having any parking spaces.

However, Hargey insists that the city council wants to close down the mosque due to its desire to maintain a “theological monopoly.”

“This mosque is based on the original mosque in Medina with one door where men and women come together to pray.

“I want my mother, wife, daughter to pray alongside me. Not be second class citizens. They pray together at Haj, why can’t they pray together in the mosques of the world?”

“This is not a gay mosque. But I will not turn anyone away based on race or sexual orientation, he said

Photo Credit: BBC/AFP

21 Comments

  1. Okafor McDonald

    September 25, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    Nawoa,Noted…

  2. Mabel

    September 26, 2014 at 1:14 am

    City council likely got threats from militants about the mosque.

  3. Dee

    September 26, 2014 at 2:56 am

    Nice

  4. Tony

    September 26, 2014 at 6:41 am

    All these by laws which are meant to exclude certain individuals from worship mainly based on what society considers worst sin ticks me off very often. Are fornicators, liars and adulterers allowed to come to this mosque? If Yes, why are gays excluded? Homosexuality is now considered a bigger sin abi?

    @Bruno, have a mouth wash. Breakfast is served. Bon appetite.

  5. elsa

    September 26, 2014 at 7:45 am

    “Gender equality, women leading prayers, gays allowed….” This must really irk devout Muslims.
    On another note, i wonder how many building in Nigeria would be shut down for violating such municipal law of not having parking spaces…. my guess would be A LOT!

  6. Abdu Rafik

    September 26, 2014 at 7:51 am

    this definitely not Islam should be made clear.Mr Taj should be told that he go head and practice whatever religion he wants but not dragging into it.When he meets the creator he can tell Him about freedom of religion.

    • Kolawole Adeniyi

      September 26, 2014 at 3:55 pm

      I dont get people that think like you, so backwards, what is wrong with women praying with men? whats wrong with a gay person praying along side with you? Are they second class citizens? the “book” either be Bible or the Quran is suppose to be a guide thru life, the interpretation can’t be literal. Open your mind its 2014, we are all humans, no human is above or beneath me. This type of backwards thinking has to change……. #justsaying

  7. rachelbrezy

    September 26, 2014 at 8:20 am

    its creeping into Africa. in any way possible.

  8. Lorna

    September 26, 2014 at 8:49 am

    @Bruno, where are you oo? you have to have something to say here… except you want to disappoint us 🙂

  9. Ruqkayah Owolabi

    September 26, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Putting feminism aside, women should not lead prayers , Imagine a woman leading prayers, not matter how big her abaya is, she is a woman and men will still lust after what it under it. Prayer requires full concentration. Men are women are separated during prayer for these type of reason, it does not make them second class citizens. I as a female do not mind men leading prayer.

    • Raqeebat

      September 26, 2014 at 9:43 am

      I see. Because women do not lust after the hunky imam leading the prayer. In fact Ruks, while we are at it, we wouldn’t want your exposed hair and neck to lead to lustful thoughts and inadvertent sin. Burka up please. Since you believe it is ultimately a woman’s fault if a man chooses to sin.

      Abeg, do not confuse misogynist cultural norms with Almighty Allah’s guidelines for us. What happened to individual responsibility? What happened to accountability? What happened to intention? What happened to peace, love, charity? Are those not the tenets of Islam? The determination of rights and wrongs and judgment of those who truly worship Him will be made by Allah in the hereafter. Do not appropriate power that is not yours by judging the actions of others.

    • Jumai

      October 16, 2014 at 1:01 pm

      Hi, Islam is based on divine rules and instructions that we must believe in as Muslims. The prophet Muhammad SAW led by example and explained everything abt the seen to us. And it was NEVER practised during his time I.e a woman leading the prayers hence, it is not allowed in Islam. Islam is a total way of life and it teaches us everything abt every single aspect of our lives. It is not allowed for free mixing as well. We definitely can not know our nature as well as the God we created us. He knows our weaknesses and hence gave us ways to overcome dem.. A mosque is a place of worship not a club… Free mixing is wrong and we all know it, no matter how much we rationalise it. Muslims have instructions from the Quran and the Sunnah DAT dey must follow..Dat is wat makes us muslims..not following manmade laws…. Thanks a lot sis..

    • Sunita

      September 26, 2014 at 9:44 am

      ….and you think women don’t lust after men during prayers abi?

    • Puzzled One

      September 26, 2014 at 12:46 pm

      Funny you had bring up the matter of lust as the reason women should not lead prayers in Islam. What is this thing about Islam always wanting to save men from lusting after women? And who says women who DO NOT lead prayers can’t be lusted after by muslim men? I just can’t seem to get the logic.

  10. bruno

    September 26, 2014 at 11:24 am

    I decided not to comment, I just wanted to see the level of ignorance. And damn,you people didn’t disappoint. Ignorance is in the blood of almost every nigerian, some nigerian women believe they are lesser than men and its so sad and pathetic.

  11. Alexa

    September 26, 2014 at 11:55 am

    BN, maybe you should also include a ‘dislike comment’ button. Ruqkayah’s comment I dislike, Raqeebat’s I love. As covered up as our muslim sisters are, doesnt it just go to show that justifying rape by a woman’s mode of dressing is , to put it mildly utter crap, if they too can be victims of rape and other molestations of a sexual nature? To think that a man will still lust after a praying woman covered literally from head to toe, (himself praying too!!), should tell us all we need to know about personal convictions,principles and morals. I am lusted after and punished for being lusted after, while the one doing the lusting gets a pat on the back. Does that sound twisted or…something?

  12. Ona

    September 26, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Why any gay person will choose to be a christian boggles the hell out of my mind!

    • Adeola

      September 28, 2014 at 10:57 am

      I guess it’s cause all kinds of sin are equivalent in God’s eyes. A white lie and gayism are the same thing. so if someone that tells a white lie once in a while can claim Christianity, why not a gay

  13. mico

    September 26, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    @bruno Nigerians are one of the most educated and exposed people in the world, you saying Nigerians are ignorant give a whole new meaning to ignorant.. You seems to be the one that is ignorant in this course you haven’t said anything reasonable.

  14. Deedee

    September 27, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Wonders shall never end, but may Allah see us through these trying times because the world is really coming to an end, all sorts of stupid things cropping up, na wa o! Gay-friendly mosque ke, gay-friendly mosque ni……

  15. papermoon

    September 30, 2014 at 7:30 am

    now dats one progressive mosque. sort out de suitability and parking issues and lets go and pray.

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