Open mosque causes furore in Cape Town

Mosque would be open to all including non-Muslims

A proposed "open mosque" which would be gender-equal and welcome non-Muslims is causing controversy ahead of its scheduled launch on 19 September in the southern Wynberg suburb Cape Town.

The mosque faces opposition from sections of the local Muslim community who accuse the Muslim academic behind the project of being a heretic.

Taj Hargey, who was born in Cape Town but is a professor at the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford, is no stranger to controversy in the UK and has been outspoken on a number of issues in the past.

Hargey told local media that in addition to being interracial and open to homosexuals and women, the new mosque would welcome both Sunni and Shia Muslims to the same service.

The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) is investigating the mosque but warned that anything that goes against its faith will face “total condemnation.” The MJC has described the building as a “place of worship” rather than a mosque.