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A Gay Friendly Mosque has opened in South Africa – See what goes on there (Photos)

A new mosque where gay people are welcome, Christians too, and women are treated equally to men opened peacefully in Cape Town on Friday. Launched by Muslim academic Taj Hargey, the South African-born director of the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford, the gay friendly mosque or “Open Mosque” is intended as a space of worship for all, irrespective of sect, gender or sexual orientation. 


Gay Friendly Mosque

Last Friday, Muslim worshipers convened for the first time at the new prayer hall. Outside, a few protesters gathered against them but inside, they were outnumbered by the news media crews sent to watch them.

Gay Friendly Mosque
Taj Hargey denies going against Muslim teaching

In his sermon, Hargey condemned the increasing hatred in the world between Muslims and Christians. He blamed this on “warped theology” from countries such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan which he said gave rise to “fanatical” groups like the Islamic State organisation, the Taliban in Afghanistan and Boko Haram in Nigeria. He said “contaminated Saudi money” was used to promote “toxic and intolerant manifestations of Islam”.

There’s been threats about castrating me, beheading me, hanging me upside down. But South Africa has the most liberal constitution in the world – they cannot stop us opening today. I have a PhD in Islamic studies from Oxford University, unlike my opponents who went to some donkey college in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia. 

In South Africa 20 years ago, there was a peaceful revolution changing from apartheid to democracy and we need to have a similar development in the area of religion.


However, members of Cape Town’s large Muslim community have taken to social media to criticize the new mosque, with some labeling him a “heretic” or “non-believer”. One group tried to block the opening of the mosque. South Africa’s umbrella body for Islamic groups, the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC), says it is investigating the new mosque and has noted concerns raised in the community.

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