Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, along with faith, charity, pilgrimage and prayer.
The athaan, a call to prayer, is made five times a day, generally through a sound system. It announces to Muslims in the area surrounding a mosque that the time for prayer has come.
Noise complaint about historic mosque
In May 2019 the city government of Cape Town, South Africa, received a noise complaint about the athaan from the Zeenatul Islam Masjid in District Six, an inner-city residential area.
News of the complaint has caused a stir. And a viral tweet claims the Democratic Alliance, the party that runs Cape Town’s government, wants to “shut down” the mosque altogether.
The DA wants to shut down the most historic mosque in Cape Town because the “athaan is too loud”. Come election campaigning time and the DA starts supporting every1. Just one week after the elections u want to shut down the oldest mosque in Cape town . SHAME ON YOU @MmusiMaimane.
— Taaha (@taaha67298991) May 11, 2019
Mmusi Maimane is the DA’s national leader.
A screenshot of the tweet made its way onto Facebook, where it’s been shared over 1,300 times.
‘Incorrect information shared and retweeted exponentially’
Councillor Zahid Badroodien, mayoral committee member for community services and health, said the city government is “engaging” with the Zeenatul Islam Masjid, commonly known as the Muir Street mosque.
He told Africa Check a resident had filed an affidavit in terms of Western Cape province noise regulations and that the affidavit also represented six other people. “Prior to this, we have received three other complaints from persons who chose not to submit affidavits.”
The affidavit means the city is legally required to address the complaint. But it had no intention to “shut down” the mosque, Badroodien said.
The city’s environmental health service had respected the Muir Street mosque’s request that further engagement take place after Ramadan, he added. And it has not requested that the athaan be turned off or its volume lowered.
“District Six is a diverse community and the city respects the right to practice any religion,” Badroodien said.
“The matter had blown out of proportion on social media with incorrect information being shared and retweeted exponentially.”
And we couldn’t find any evidence or reports to suggest that the DA wants to shut down the mosque. We therefore rate this claim as incorrect. - Cayley Clifford (31/05/19)
For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false
A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”. What should you do? First, don't delete!
Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.
Africa Check teams up with Facebook
Africa Check is a partner in Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.
The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.
You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.