JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AFP) — A South African court has ordered a local mosque to stop using an external sound amplifier system for its calls following a complaint from a neighbor, a religious body said Monday.
Muslim religious leaders have vowed to appeal the High Court ruling which ordered the Madrasah Taleemuddeen Islamic Institute in the coastal southeastern KwaZulu-Natal province to “tone down” prayer calls, deeming it “too loud.”
The ruling was handed down on Friday.
“We find that judgement to be a poor judgement,” South African Muslim Network chairman Faisal Suliman told AFP.
“It’s going to be appealed all the way to the constitutional court,” he said.
Chandra Ellaurie, of Hindu faith and who lives opposite the mosque, petitioned the court to ban the sound and shutter the institution completely.
He complained that the prayer call that goes off at 1:30 a.m. deprived him of enjoyment of his property rights.
Court judge Sidwell Mngadi ruled that the proximity of the applicant’s property to the mosque favoured the applicant’s claim that “the call to prayer interferes with his private space.”
The court instructed that the mosque ensure the call to prayer is not heard within the applicant’s house and limited each call to prayer to three minutes.
Suliman said was it was the first time in recent memory that someone has gone to court to stop a religious facility from performing part of its rituals.
In South Africa, Muslims make up nearly 2% of a population that is largely Christian, according to official data.
© Agence France-Presse