South Africa gets first gender-open, LGBT-welcoming mosque
This Friday, South Africa’s first all-gender, LGBT-inclusive mosque will open its doors to the public.
The “Open Mosque” has stirred some controversy because it will allow women to lead prayers when there are men present, as well as allow interfaith marriages without requiring both individuals to convert to Islam. LGBT people will be allowed to attend and worship, according to Open Mosque’s founder Dr. Taj Hargey, but the mosque will not actually condone same-sex activity.
‘I do not endorse homosexual living, but I do not condemn them as people,’ Dr. Hargey said, according to the Cape Times.
‘We will … welcome gay people and discuss topical subjects like sexuality, politics and others.’
Dr Targey, who was raised in Cape Town and has returned to his hometown to establish the mosque, said that he hoped to spark a ‘religious revolution’ when it came to gender equality and acceptance among Muslims in the Western Cape region.
‘The women will no longer make samoosas [sic] – they will make the decisions,’ he said.
Very important step. I’m excited to see what comes of this.