This person, believed to be a man, claims that for him the bilaal (person doing the athaan) is just too loud and that the noise coming from the mosque “can kill the earth”.
He refers to the athaan as pollution.
Now, I was taught at school that pollution is something that eventually will destroy the earth. So when this man referred to the athaan as noise pollution it made me very angry.
It is the holy month of Ramadaan, so I made sabr (practiced patience).
Our country is actually much more civil than most countries in the “developed world” or first world, if you will.
For example, when I was in Scotland, I never heard the athaan yet the mosque was just down the road from where I stayed.
I later found out that they were not allowed to use speakers to amplify the athaan.
People there are expected to keep the times of the five prayers, and when it is time to pray, they go to the mosque.
The call to prayer is sacred in Islam, it is actually the Almighty’s personal invitation for people to come to him.
You see, this guy who has a problem with our athaan would most likely win in a court in other parts of the world.
But here in diverse and democratic Cape Town, we kind of expect to win such fights.
Not because we are Muslims, but because we are living in a new South Africa that upholds values and is governed by the Constitution.
In this case, we will win on the merits of the freedom to practise our religion freely.
So this guy who has a problem with the athaan chose not only the wrong country, but the wrong city to take on.
You see, here in Cape Town we grew up gemix, we are the ultimate melting pot of cultures, race and religion.
I for one attended a crèche where I learnt songs like Fishing for Jesus, at primary school we started our day with the Lord’s Prayer, and at home we made salaah five times a day and fast during Ramadaan.
We are a diverse community who all respect each other’s faith, culture and traditions, and we will not tolerate negative people like you to cause disharmony.
Your behaviour is not acceptable, not after 25 years of a new and free South Africa.
You see, egotists like yourself think that by silencing the athaan that this is your first step in silencing Islam.
But, mister, the days when Muslims practiced micro Islam here in Kaapstad are long gone.
Our forefathers had to pretend that they were singing gospel hymns in order to keep our religion alive. But that was the birth of the gadat in the Cape, a popular tradition that is still being practised to this day.
We, Cape Malay Muslims, have come too far with this ANC-led government to become deterred by one individual.
I think perhaps somebody needs to invite you to come boeka by them to taste some boeber, bollas and daltjies.
Maar alle grappies op ’n stokkie.
I believe issues like these should not be taken lightly, especially in today’s global climate of Islamaphobia.
We have to take heed and investigate people like this what is their heritage, their possible agenda, do they have links to terrorist or hate groups, soema alles.
Better safe than sorry, I always say.
We can’t wait for a tragedy to occur like what happened in New Zealand, France and the USA before we act.
With that said, pwasa ma lekke verder, mense. And thank the Almighty that you live in a city and country where you can hear the beauty of the athaan loud and clear every day.