CAPE TOWN – Defying earlier rumors, a spokesman of the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) has confirmed that the South African city of Cape Town is not planning to ban the adhan or the Muslim call to prayer.
“We had a good meeting with city officials on Tuesday and they agreed to send their experts to ascertain the level of sound volume at one of our mosques where a resident raised a complaint,” Shaykh Isgaak Taliep, MJC’s spokesman, told Anadolu Agency.
Taliep denied rumors made by some on social media that authorities were planning to ban the Adhan (call to prayer), triggering panic among the Muslim community.
He added that the city requested the mosque management to appoint an acoustic engineer to ensure that the sound volume remains at the required level stipulated by the city administration.
“South African citizens enjoy religious freedom under this democracy. However, we apply this religious freedom responsibly because we live in multi-religious and multi-cultural societies, especially when reciting the call to prayer,” he said.
“In the Western Cape, we ensure that we have the sound of the Muslim call to prayer lower than the required level as stated in the city’s by-laws,” Shaykh Riad Fataar, MJC second deputy president, said in a statement.
The Adhan is the call to announce that it is time for a particular obligatory Salah (ritual prayer).
The Adhan is raised five times a day.
According to 2015 estimates, Islam is practiced by roughly 1.5% of the total population of South Africa. The earliest Muslims in the country were part of the involuntary migration of slaves, political prisoners and political exiles from Africa and Southeast Asia during the 17th century.
Recent figures put the number at approximately at between 75,000 and 100,000. In addition to this are a considerable number of Muslims from South Asia that have arrived as economic migrants.
The Muslim community in South Africa lives in harmony with other faith communities. This religious cohesion is most obvious in the Indian and Colored residential areas where Muslims live amongst, work with and attend school with fellow South Africans of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, atheist and agnostic beliefs.