A so-called ‘Open Mosque’ will open its doors in Cape Town this week, spearheaded by controversial South African born UK Academic Taj Hargey. Below are 10 facts compiled by Cii News about the institution and its ideas.
1. It is based on 3 pillars
According to its founder Dr. Taj Hargey, the ‘Open Mosque’ will be “Quran-centric”, gender equal, open to all and non sectarian. It’s mission statement declares that the institution will be “autonomous, non-sectarian, gender-equal, inter-racial and unaffiliated to any specific school of thought (madhab), ideology or denomination.”
2. It is skeptical of Hadith
Hadith, a fundamental source of Islamic law in mainstream traditional Islam is frowned upon by the mosque. Its mission statement refers to sources of Islamic instruction other than the Qur’an as “suspect subsidiary sources”. Speaking to Cii Radio, Dr Hargey referred to the Hadith and Shariah as both being “man-made”. Ulama explain that it is imperative for a Muslim to believe with full conviction that the words and actions of the Prophet SAW represent the Will of Allah, and thus one has to follow and obey them in each and every circumstance of life. This is rooted in the Quranic injunctions to “obey Allah and obey the Messenger… If you should quarrel over anything refer it to Allah and the Messenger” (4:59) and “In Allah’s messenger you have a fine model for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day” (33:21)
3. It seeks a ‘religious revolution’ in South Africa
Just as South Africa had undergone a political revolution, the ‘Open Mosque’ says it is seeking a spiritual revolution amongst South African Muslims especially in the Western Cape region. Dr Taj has declared the mosque to be a mechanism for “self empowerment” of ordinary Muslims, purportedly reconnecting them with “original Islam – the pristine text of the Qur’an” and not “other added-on stuff”.
4. It is critical of Ulama
The mosque figurehead says ordinary Muslims should stop looking to contemporary Ulama and Fuqaha for guidance, arguing that Islam is not a priesthood, and that Moulanas and Shuyookh are being considered by their followers as deities. Regarding the Muslim Judicial Council, the leading Islamic body in the Western Cape, the ‘mosque’ claims it is a self-appointed, un-accountable and non-transparent body of poorly trained clergy that dictates and controls the lives of the Muslim masses.
5. It will have an ‘All Welcome’ sign at its entrance
Championing itself as a first of its kind institution in the world, the ‘mosque’ claims it will truly we welcoming of all and this fact will be communicated boldly by an ‘All Welcome’ sign at its entrance. “If someone comes in peace and friendship, he or she – irrespective of their background or beliefs, will be welcomed,” Dr Taj has told Cii. This includes members of any religious sect as well as non-Muslims. The mosque will also champion inter-faith initiatives in Cape Town. The Harmony venture will seek to “bring together the city’s various faith groups so that they may get to know each other through respectful dialogue and meaningful friendship.” The mosque website attests that this multi-faith organisation embraces the entire spectrum of philosophical and religious beliefs from Atheism to Zoroastrianism and seeks to generate genuine understanding and tolerance of all creeds.
6. It will be ‘gender equal’
As mentioned above, this is one of the cardinal features of the ‘Open Mosque’. Women feature prominently in the governing structures of the organisation. Women will have equal presence, and there will be no separate female entrances or women’s screens in the prayer hall, although the ablution and prayer facilities of the two genders are said to be separate. It is unclear whether women will be allowed to lead prayers. Speaking to Cii Radio, Dr Taj said prayers will be led by men. However other local media outlets report that the mosque will also allow women to lead prayers. The institute says gender-equality in the context that it is promoting does not refer to sexual orientation and it unequivocally denies being a ‘gay mosque’. It has distinguished itself from the gay rights NGO called the Inner Circle which is led by Muhsin Hendricks that operates on the same street in Wynberg. The only established factual link between the two organisations appear to be informal: Dr Taj addressed a special Jummuah and Dhikr session of the ‘Inner Circle’ in June.
7. Its founder has scorned Sunnah practices
Dr Taj has bemoaned what he considers the “Saudisation or Arabisation” of South African Islam. He has disdainfully been heard speaking about “long crazy beards” and “pyjama-like” dresses worn by Muslim men, and “face-masks” worn by Muslim women.
8. Its founder has spearheaded campaigns against the Niqab in the UK and performed marriages of Muslim women to non Muslims men
In the UK, Dr Taj Hargey, who is a founder of the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford, is spearheading a campaign to ban the wearing of the Hijab/Niqab by Muslim women.
“This archaic tribal rag is pre-Islamic and non-Qur’anic, and ipso facto un-Muslim,” a post on the MECO websiteclaims. “Female public anonymity is an imported Saudi-Afghan fad. It should be resisted on compelling theological, social, health, security and gender equality grounds so that Britain’s traditional character and identity is preserved. The UK must oppose this latest salvo from theological fanatics fighting for the hearts and minds of British Muslims.”
Dr Taj also prides himself as being one of the only people that will marry Muslim women to non Muslim men. He has reportedly performed in excess of 30 marriages of this kind since 2008 in the UK.
He also stirred controversy when he became the first in Britain to allow a female to lead Friday ‘prayers’. Dr Hargey invited Amina Wadud to lead prayers at his ‘mosque’ in 2008.
9. It has received a thumbs-up from the Western Cape Premier
“This certainly looks like an initiative worth supporting,” Western Cape premier and official opposition(DA) leader Helen Zille said of the mosque on the weekend.
10. The ‘Open Mosque’ has been condemned by leading Ulama and has even been called a temple
Moulana Ebrahim Bham of the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa has said that Dr Hargey’s opinions are out of sync with centuries of Muslim scholarly consensus. “This is not the first time someone has tried to introduce different aspects into the religion and into Islam. This has happened almost from the inception of the religion,” he told alocal radio station.
Sheikh Riaad Fataar of the MJC (which is investigating the establishment) said the Ulama body would not consider the establishment a ‘mosque’.
“We see in the newspaper clipping and the messages that this is a place of worship, but we can’t call it a mosque,” Fataar told the Voice of the Cape.
The outspoken Majlis publication went even further calling the establishment “THE OPEN TEMPLE OF CAPE TOWN”
“The label of Islam simply cannot stick on any deviant group/sect which veers wildly and erratically from theSiraatul Mustaqeem of the Qur’aan and Sunnah,” it said. “These people have no right to touch the Qur’aan. Their views about the Qur’aan and Islam are unadulterated KUFR. This group is not Muslim.”
Facts on its Founder Taj HargeyClick Below for article on Taj Hargey Con Prof Taj Hargey
Dr Taj Harvey (ex Capetonian) is a self proclaimed Imam and Islamic Scholar, labeling himself a Devout Muslim, but he’s as dangerous and deceptive as poison.
In the famous Cape Town Qadiani court case of the early 1980s, Taj Hargey was an expert witness on behalf of the Qadianis.
His brother, Majid Hargey looks after the Qadiani Temple in Athlone Street, Athlone, Cape Town. Several family members are trustees of this temple.
Allah help us and protect us from such dangerous people who are all out to destroy the image of our Deen.
Here are some beneficial articles for your perusal…
Taj Hargey jumps on ‘Muslim grooming’ bandwagon | Islamophobia Watch – http://www.islamophobiawatch.co.uk/taj-hargey-jumps-on-muslim-grooming-bandwagon/
We Muslims should be appalled by the sale of halal meat by stealth | Mail Online – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2623879/We-Muslims-appalled-sale-halal-meat-stealth.html
Why I, as a Muslim, am launching a campaign to ban the burka in Britain – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2695181/Why-I-Muslim-launching-campaign-ban-burka-Britain.html
‘Imams promote grooming rings’, Muslim leader claims – Telegraph – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/10061217/Imams-promote-grooming-rings-Muslim-leader-claims.html
Taj Hargey launches fresh anti-Islam stunt | Indigo Jo Blogs – http://www.blogistan.co.uk/blog/mt.php/2010/01/21/taj_hargey_launches_fresh_anti-islam_stunt
Taj Hargey is wrong: there is no ‘British Islam’ | Indigo Jo Blogs – http://www.blogistan.co.uk/blog/mt.php/2013/12/27/taj-hargey-is-wrong-there-is-no-british-islam
A former Capetonian, now based at the Muslim Education Centre of Oxford (MECO) in London, Taj Hargey is a staunch member of the Qadiani sect, he is on the offensive with a revenge agenda to divide the SA Muslim community. Qadianis have been the notorious menace of society in India, Pakistan, Canada, America, UK, Europe and South Africa, especially Cape Town. Their agenda is based on deception and lies with the main aim of creating FITNAH wherever they are. To learn more about Qadianis, click on:
His latest mission is the launch and promotion of the Open Mosque in Wynberg. He claims to be a progressive Mainstream Muslim and to have left the Qadiani cult a long time ago – A BIG FAT LIE. He even wonders why Muslims regard him “persona non grata” since his appearance in the Qadiani trial as a star witness. He’s ever ready to threaten to take legal action against those who say otherwise about him. If he was genuine in leaving Qadianism and embracing Islam, wouldn’t he be tolerant instead of being hostile, offensive and controversial? Attached, you will find the Qadiani (Ahmadiyya) Hope Bulletin of April 2013, where Taj Hargey participated in their conference in May 2013.
Last but not least, if you feel the above far fetched, then perhaps this will convince you. Taj Hargey is also a Con Man and a Fraudster.
It’s sickening how much recognition and exposure he gets by The Daily Mail UK, Cape Talk, local media and from DA’s Helen Zille.
Because he talks the language of Islamophobia, they will all listen without checking out his background. Refer to articles below…