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Muslim Judicial Council condemns attack at Verulam mosque

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Muslim Judicial Council condemns attack at Verulam mosque

Secretary General of the MJC, Shaykh Isgaak Taliep has described an attack on a mosque in Verulam in Durban as “tragic” and “atrocious”.

Speaking to Political Analysis South Africa on Friday, 11 May 2018, Taliep, who is from the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC), urged members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) to investigate the incident, so that those who are liable for the attack are held accountable.

“We want the necessary government structures and institutions like SAPS and Intelligence to deal with this,” he said.

Three men entered the Shiite Imam Hussain Mosque, located in Ottawa, Verulam, on Thursday, 10 May 2018 and stabbed two people while slitting the throat of another man that resulted in him dying in hospital later that day from the injuries.

Taliep says that these kinds of attacks are rare and unheard of in South Africa, but recently there has been vandalism of mosques in the Western Cape.

“It is of great concern for the leadership. We will do our own enquiries to understand the situation better to look into the more subtle nuances that is manifesting itself within our communities,” he added.

On whether this attack might have been an act of sectarianism, Taliep said that the MJC “cannot rule out anything” and would wait for a full investigation into the matter before commenting.

Meanwhile, other civil-society organisations, such as the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) also condemned the attack.

In a statement released on Friday, 11 May 2018 SAJBD spokesperson Chairisse Zeifert called the attack “horrific.”

“Places of worship should always provide a safe space, and its sanctity should be respected. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this horrific attack and with the South African Muslim community,” she said.