Don’t often feature religious topics on Life is Savage, but saw this a few days ago and thought it was interesting. A Cape Town academic is planning to open the first Open Mosque in South Africa that is gender-equal, non-sectarian and interracial. Dr Taj Hargey plans to open the mosque in Wynberg this Friday and intends to allow women to lead prayers and allow gay people and non-Muslims into the place of worship. Hargey says it’s time for a “religious revolution”, but it’s not going down so well with the local community.
The planned mosque is already facing heavy critisism.
“News of his plan has unleashed a storm on WhatsApp and other social media, with some messages calling the mosque a “gay temple” and others decrying its founder as a “heretic” and a “non-believer”.
Hargey, a professor of Islamic Studies and African history at Oxford University, has threatened to take legal action against anyone calling him a “heretic” and a “homosexual”.
“It is all lies. It is libel and I will take legal action against those spreading these lies.”
In 2009 he won a case in a UK court against a Muslim newspaper for calling him a heretic, Hargey said.
The mosque would follow the Qur’an and promote gender equality – this meant women would enter and take part in prayers and in the running of the mosque.” [iol]
Interested to see what happens when it opens. You reckon it’s gonna work?