A Cape-Town born, London-based academic, Dr Taj Hargey has caused an uproar in South Africa's Islamic community by announcing his founding of an 'Open Mosque', set to launch this Friday in the Mother City. By 'Open Mosque', Hargey refers to a mosque that would be accepting of homosexuals, non-Muslims and also see women taking a lead in prayers. Hargey argues a lot of what is accepted practice in the religion is in fact an 'Arabisation' of Islam, pointing to segregated prayer facilities - which he says are not Islamic practice - the wearing of long robes and beards by men and various other practices. On the Redi Tlhabi Show, the charismatic theologian answered questions sent his way from committed Muslims, curious non-Muslim and everyone in between.
On the Midday Report with Stephen Grootes meanwhile, the Council for Muslim Theologians' Moulana Ebrahim Bham said that while he wasn't offended with the presence of such a mosque, he would like to highlight that historical evidence does point having segregated prayer facilities for men and women.