The Zeenatul Islam Masjid has been the centre of much debate after a noise complaint was laid against the sound of its Athaan (call to prayer), and is now appealing to the City of Cape Town to remove all calls to prayer from its noise by-laws. This will include calls to prayer at churches, for example, and not mosques exclusively.
The City has been actively engaging with the mosque since the complaint was first laid against it by police earlier this year, and it was agreed upon that further steps would be taken after the holy month of Ramadaan reached its conclusion.
As reported by IOL, the mosque has confirmed that it has met with the City to discuss a plan of action on how to go forward with the single noise complaint.
“The City of Cape Town reported to the mosque’s committee during the meeting that its own scientific test showed that the sound level of the Athaan fell within the accepted decibel measure as set out by the bylaw. The second test was a “reasonable person” test that led City of Cape Town officials to find that the Athaan is “noise nuisance”. This “reasonable person” test, in our view, is completely subjective and changing the terms of reference of the complaint amounts to a shifting the goal posts by the City of Cape Town,” the mosque said in a statement.
“As far as the mosque is concerned, there is a distinct difference between “noise disturbance” and the athaan or any similar call to prayer as an act of worship,” it added. “We call on the City of Cape Town to heed the overwhelming public support for the athaan and to dismiss the complaint.”
“The mosque committee is aware of similar complaints against other mosques and places of worship in the City of Cape Town. Zeenatul Islam Masjid is one of the oldest mosques in Cape Town and marks its 100th anniversary this year. It has become part of the fabric of District 6. The mosque committee understands the seriousness of this challenge and the implications should this complaint succeed – not just for Zeenatul Masjid but for all faith communities in our city. We call on the City of Cape Town to heed the overwhelming public support for the Athaan and to dismiss the complaint.”