'Critics behind calls to close open mosque'

Taj Hargey says his critics are behind efforts to shut down the ‘open mosque’ in Cape Town.

Protesters from the Muslim faith gathered outside the new “open mosque” in Wynberg on 19 September 2014. Picture: Aletta Garner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The founder of the ' open mosque' in Wynberg, Taj Hargey, says his critics are behind efforts to shut down the mosque.

But Hargey says it won't work because he is making sure the place of worship complies with zoning and building regulations, as required by the City of Cape Town.

He's described the facility as South Africa's first Quran-centric, gender-equal, non-sectarian Islamic house of God.

And has also said he will not discriminate against gay people.

The mosque has been criticised by some among Cape Town's large Muslim community for transgressing tenets of Islam.

But Hargey has hit back at his critics, saying, "Some are appealing to the law only because they want to shut us down. But the question they should ask themselves is, if we are such a tiny group, why is one Muslim preventing another Muslim from praying?"