Religious intolerance is dividing the mostly Christian community of Pretoria’s Valhalla suburb.
The Thaba Tshwane Islamic Centre Trust’s plan to build a mosque in the quiet neighbourhood is at the centre of the tension. Residents are concerned about being disturbed by the mosque’s azaan, the Muslim call to prayer chanted five times a day.
“This is a long-established community; it is a Christian community,” said Christian Democratic Party leader and resident Theunis Botha, a church minister [pictured]. He said there was no need for a mosque in the suburb because there was only a handful of Muslims in the area.
Botha said there were mosques in nearby Erasmia. “We can hear them shouting from their towers in Erasmia when we are here in Valhalla,” he said. He said Muslims “do not want to integrate, they want to take over” as they did in Erasmia.
Women24, which bills itself as South Africa’s largest online women’s community, has posted a piece by a Cape Town writer named Chris McEvoy (not a woman, judging by appearances) entitled “I’m Islamophobic”.
“And no, I’m not being ironic”, he assures his followers on Twitter. Anyone who follows McEvoy’s tweets would probably have guessed that already.
Given recent events in their country, you might have thought white South Africans would hesitate before publishing this sort of ignorant racist drivel. But apparently not.
Worshippers attending morning prayer at a Mpumalanga mosque were startled by the sight of two pigs’ heads buried on the property.
The heads were found buried at the construction site of the Emalahleni Jumma Musjid in Emalahleni, formerly Witbank, on Tuesday morning. The mosque is presently housed in a temporary steel structure in the town centre. Construction of a permanent building is due to begin mid-year.
Farouk Arbee, secretary of the Witbank Muslim Jamaat – which owns the mosque – said the Muslim community were dismayed by the deplorable act by people attempting to desecrate the site.
“Such contempt for an intended place of worship is an act of barbarism which cannot be condoned in a diverse society like ours that is built on mutual respect and understanding. All Muslims in Emalahleni in particular and everywhere else in the country should act with restraint to such a provocation. We are confident that this act of provocation originating from a disgruntled minority will not be condoned by all peace-loving residents of Emalahleni,” said Arbee.
Alongside the swine heads was a board with the words: “People from all over the world need to take a lesson from the Spanish! In Seville local people found a way to stop the construction of another mosque in their town. They buried a pig on the site, and made sure this would be known by the local press. Islamic rules forbid the erecting of a mosque on ‘pig-soiled ground’. The Muslims had to cancel the project. This land was sold to them by government officials. No protests were needed by the local people… and it worked!”
Times Live, 20 February 2011
Qatar-based Islamic scholar Sheikh Yousuf al-Qaradawi yesterday slammed the practice of denying women access to mosques by Muslims of South Africa as well as of the Indian subcontinent and said that he was surprised that women were not allowed to attend any of his lectures in Johannesburg during his recent visit there.
In his Friday sermon, Sheikh Qaradawi said that during his visit to South Africa, he was surprised by the “unreasonable practice” of not allowing women from entering mosques as well as by the ban to videotape his lectures in Johannesburg.
“It was my first visit to South Africa and I was impressed with its Muslim community’s commitment to Islamic rules as well as its unity, but it was the ban on women’s entry into mosques which drew my attention. I told the (community members) that this was un-Islamic and they should stop it,” he told a congregation in a mosque at Khalifa South.
“I know they did that because they follow the Abu Hanifa school of thought but they should know that time has changed. If Abu Hanifa himself were with us today, he would have changed his mind. It is unreasonable that women could now go to universities, markets and travel, but are not allowed to enter a mosque in some countries.”
Gulf Times, 23 April 2010
“For former practicing criminal attorney turned author, W.G. Van Dorian, the news of plans to build Europe’s biggest mosque beside the London 2012 Olympic Park confirmed what he has feared all along – the intent of radical Islamists to gain a majority and ultimately control of the world’s powers.”
ClickPress, 24 January 2007
Why is a former Dutch lawyer currently resident in South Africa interfering over the issue of a proposed Islamic Centre in Newham? Drumming up publicity in preparation for the publication of his next novel perhaps? Van Dorian’s first book, The Invisible Invasion, would appear to be a paranoid fantasy about the Islamist takeover of Europe (see here). According to his publishers, as a defence lawyer for Muslims in the Netherlands, Van Dorian:
“… had access to shocking information, things not normally revealed to outsiders. He states, ‘I’ve heard a couple of times from them when I gained their trust that they were simply waiting for a majority through immigration and forced conversion in Europe to take over, violently if need be’. Van Dorian witnessed the power of this force in Europe as the extremists ultimately knocked down resistance from ‘ordinary citizens’ and obtained what they wanted…. one of the most terrifying comments that Van Dorian heard was: ‘Just wait until there are enough of us and we’ll be the boss around here’.”