A Muslim academic is vowing to push ahead with the launch of his woman and gay-friendly mosque in South Africa, despite receiving death threats.
Taj Hargey, director of the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford, a group of “forward thinking” Muslims, said his Open Mosque will welcome all genders, religions and sexual orientations when it opens in Wynberg, a Cape Town suburb, on Friday.
“You enter the mosque, do I ask you the question who did you sleep with last night? No. It’s not my business who you slept with,” said Mr Hargey, a native of Cape Town.
“Women will enter the same doors as men, women will take part in the service” said the 60-year-old. “This is the first time you’ll see men and women praying together.”
Mr Hargey says the Open Mosque, that has been in development for two years, is designed to counter growing Islamic radicalism in Africa.
“South Africans have become Arabised, they think they must wear the burka, must have face masks, that men must wear pyjama dresses,” said Mr Hargey. “They think that is the only version of Islam.”
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