Complaints against the athaan: What’s at stake?

The athaan – the call to prayer – has become a topic of conversation again this week, following complaints about the athaan at the Leewen Street masjid in Bo Kaap. The imam at the masjid said law enforcement officers investigated the complaint on Friday – said to be the third such complaint in Bo-Kaap over the past two months, a first in the history of Bo-Kaap.

Last year, this became a contentious issue after a complaint was levelled to the City of Cape Town over the athaan at Zeenatul Islam masjid in District Six.

Just recently, a resident from Isipingo Beach launched an application in the Durban High Court in which he scathingly criticised Islam and asked the court to stop the Adhan nationally and to shut down a local madressa which he says has infringed upon his right to dignity.

Why are these complaints emerging and what is at stake?

Our guests this evening are Osman Shabodien, chairperson of the Bo Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association and Sandy Schuter, chairperson of the Strandfontein CPF. Later on in the show, we chat to the City of Cape Town, a Bo Kaap heritage activist, and the SA Human Rights Commission.