Al Qalam Reporter
The South African Muslim Network (SAMNET) has called on Mosques in all major towns and cities across South Africa to open its doors to people of all faiths on Heritage Day, September 24.
To be billed as National Mosque Open Day, the objective of the campaign is to invite people of all faiths to visit participating mosques in an effort “to dispel myths, demystify the misconceptions about Islam and to build and strengthen relations with other religious groups”.
SAMNET hopes that over time, many mosques across Southern Africa would buy into the project and open its doors to the general public on Heritage Day each year. Once an adequate number of mosques come on board, SAMNET would then promote the project in a national media campaign, inviting non-Muslims to visit participating mosques, meet Muslims and ask questions.
Dr Faizel Suleman, Director of SAMNET said: “It is crucially important to have a standard format throughout the country, almost like a franchise-type of format with consistency of content, approach and information given to visitors. It is not to be seen as a proselytising mission but rather one of building community relations, improving the image of Islam and teaching others about our faith.
“Eventually, the aim is also to get the campaign recognised as a national event on the Department of Arts and Cultures calendar and to make this part of South African Heritage Day activity as other communities have done with their cultural and religious events.
“We need to identify people in different towns to facilitate the campaign. For now, it is important to obtain a few masjids in the large cities and metropolitan areas on board and allow them to identify other masjid trustees and imams in other regions who can be approached for participation in the National Mosque Open Day project,” Suleman said.
For further details or to make an input, contact Aneesa Essack on Tel: (031) 207 4223 or e-Mail: email@example.com