A noise complaint laid against the Zeenatul Islam Masjid in District Six is going to be investigated when Ramadan comes to a close. The City has engaged with the mosque’s committee and respected its request for an investigation to begin once the sacred month of fasting is over.

The complaint was made in regards to the mosque’s athaan, or call to prayer. The Muir Street mosque committee said in a statement that, much like church bells ringing or any other call to worship, the athaan should not be considered noise pollution.”The masjid [mosque] accepts that the City of Cape Town is obliged to process the complaint. However, this masjid will be embarking on a path to engage [it] to review its bylaw that deals with noise pollution. The masjid believes this is significant, not only for the Muslim community, but all faith communities of Cape Town at large,” it said. “The different calls to worship by mosques, churches and other places of worship is integral to the fabric of District Six.”

The mosque committee added, “[Prayer] continued through District Six’s establishment in Cape Town as a vibrant community and continued through the forced removals. The call to prayer still exists today and the masjid [mosque] has become part of the social fabric of the greater Cape Town area, together with the churches that remain and were also resistant to the apartheid government.

“Cape Town – the birthplace of Islam in South Africa 325 years ago – prides itself as an embracing city of many cultures and faiths. The athaan needs to be understood in this context.”

The City is legally required to investigate the complaint. Zahid Badroodien, Mayco Member for Community Services and Health, said to News24, “District Six is a diverse community and the City respects the right to practice any religion. Residents moving into the area are reminded of the rich cultural heritage that the area is synonymous for.”

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