Open Mosque will operate as normal

Open Mosque founder, Taj Hargey, says vandals torched the building in the early hours of this morning.

FILE: Women and men sit together during Friday afternoon prayers on 19 September 2014. Picture: Lauren Isaacs/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The controversial Open Mosque in Wynberg, in Cape Town, has been vandalised on the eve of Eid al-Adha.

Fierce critics within the local Muslim community believe the establishment is a disgrace to the Islamic faith.

It welcomes gay people, Muslims from different sects, as well as non-Muslims. It will also allow women to lead the prayers.

Open Mosque founder, Taj Hargey, says vandals torched the building in the early hours of this morning.

"We are operating as normal tomorrow, this is an attempt by Muslim thugs and hooligans to intimidate and bully us. We will not be cowed into submission."

Police are investigating a case of arson.

Hargey says, "The fire brigade was able to extinguish the flames so damage was limited to the door and some broken pains."

Several protesters from the Muslim faith gathered outside the new mosque in mid-July.

They said they won't allow Muslim people to enter the building as the new mosque doesn't stand for the teachings of Islam and the Quran.