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Application by Majlisul Ulama and Jamiatual Ulama to open the mosques during the National COVID-19 lockdown.

12 April 2020

The Master of the High Court: Pretoria

SALU Building, 316 Thabo Sehume Street

PRETORIA

MasterPretoria@justice.gov.za

Re: Application by Majlisul Ulama and Jamiatual Ulama to open the mosques during the National COVID-19 lockdown.

Dear Sir/Madam,

It has been brought to our attention via media reports that Majlisul Ulama and Jamiatual Ulama will be requesting the Pretoria High Court to ease the lockdown regulations to allow Muslims to attend mosques. This, after the Legal and Executive Services Unit of the Presidency issued a clear directive on this matter, dated 9/04/2020.

These ultra-conservative organisations, which advocate on their websites that women should pray at home, are now conveniently claiming that the lockdown rules have caused “spiritual depression” among Muslims, which “has an impact on their minds and hearts”. This absurd diagnosis of contemporary Muslims in South Africa is totally devoid of any compelling religious substantiation.

Their bizarre request to open the mosques during lockdown is a callous and irresponsible action that will endanger the lives of not only those attending mosques, but also those family members at home. It goes against the Islamic principle of peaceful coexistence, and only serves to promote the rigid fanaticsm of this group of bigoted clergy who has lost their relevance during the lockdown.

Furthermore, their facile assertion to represent “several thousand worshippers” is unfounded, since there has been no democratic consultation at all on this matter. Informed Muslims objecting to their risky strategy are silenced out of fear of being ex-communicated by these intolerant and out-of-touch self-appointed clergymen.

We therefore resolutely oppose their application to open the mosques during the national lockdown. We request the Court to dismiss this application and to rule that all mosques adhere to the lockdown regulations, in line with leading mosques globally, for the well-being of all South Africans.

On behalf of The Open Mosque, Cape Town:

cc. The Acting Head, Legal and Executive Services, The Presidency.

 

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