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Open Mosque founder not intimidated by critics

Taj Hargey describes the facility as South Africa's first Quran-centric, gender-equal house of God.

FILE: Since opening this month, the mosque has been attacked by vandals and has been critised by some among Cape Town’s large Muslim community. Picture: Aletta Garner/EWN

CAPE TOWN -The founder of the Open Mosque in Wynberg says he will not be intimidated by the bullying tactics used by his critics.

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

Since opening this month, the mosque has been attacked by vandals and has been critised by some among Cape Town's large Muslim community.

Hargey has also received threatening phone calls.

"We have asked police to investigate and if we do find them and are able to identify them then certainly we will pursue them through the courts of law and expect that South African criminal justice to act against these people that commit illegal action and illegal threats."

MJC WARNS MUSLIMS TO REFRAIN

In a statement released earlier this month, the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) strongly advised Muslims to refrain from attending the mosque.

However, at the same time, the MJC's Nabeweya Malick told Eyewitness News people shouldn't protest against the opening of the mosque.

Hargey last week responded to his detractors by saying he's merely trying to dispel "the man-made lies" around Islam and promote gender equality.

He said men and women should be able to worship together.

Hargey said the Muslim clergy had become theological mafia that dictated and monopolised everything in the Muslim community.