Qaanitah Hunter- Cii News- July 23, 2012
The City of Johannesburg Mayoral Committee said they have not taken any
decision to ban the Athaan in any area of the city.
This comes after claims from certain individuals within the Muslim community
of Johannesburg who said that the ANC led municipality had instructed the
Riverlea Masjid to discontinue the use of Public Address System as a means
of announcing the call to prayer (Athaan).
A petition has been drawn to request that the Johannesburg City Council
allow the Muslim Community and all other Religious groups of Riverlea and
all surrounding areas free use of their sound systems, bells and all other
instruments used for religious purposes.
But member of the mayoral committee, Rehana Mosaajee, said the allegations
are unfounded as Muslims were allowed the call for prayer for many years.
She said there was absolutely no political decision made to ban the call of
Entrenched in South Africa’s newly formed constitution is religious freedom
and in line with democracy, Muslims are allowed to call the Athaan on a PA
“We want to call these who started the petition to come forward with the
information to say where they got the information from,” Moosajee said.
She said the mayoral committee and the council, being the highest decision
making body in the city of Johannesburg, have never even heard of the Issue.
“I am not sure were it emanated from but we are more than willing to meet
with community and those responsible for the petition” she said.
The only issues taken in to account when regulating the Athaan are
environmental matters and appropriate decimal levels.
Moosajee said it is not politically discussed but they may be individuals
within the local council that had suggested the call to ban the Athaan.
She reiterated that the city would like further dialogue with the community
to identify where the misunderstanding stemmed from.