S African mosque will remain open after being allegedly targeted in foiled ‘terrorist attack’

Johannesburg, Jul 10 (PTI): The trustees of a mosque in South Africa’s coastal city of Durban that was targeted in a foiled bombing attempt vowed on Wednesday to continue prayers there, asserting that the attack would not deter the Muslim community from practising their faith.

Police were called on Monday after a security guard at the mosque approached a man exiting a vehicle that had entered the mosque driveway, Yusuf Desai, a trustee at the Musjidur Rahman in the suburb of Durban North told local media on Wednesday.

The vehicle sped off as the guard approached it, but the man threw something into the mosque first.

South African Police Services spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker confirmed that bomb squad technicians identified an explosive home-made device made from commercial explosives at the mosque site with a length of fuse, but it had not been set to go off.

Desai told local media that the attack would not deter the Muslim community from practising their faith or engaging in dialogue with other faiths.

Muslim organisations in the country decried the bombing attempt as an “Islamophobic terrorist attack”.

The Jamiatul Ulema (Council of Muslim Theologians) of South Africa, as well as the Sunni Ulema Council, have denounced the attempted bombing as “an Islamophobic attack” on a community that has used the mosque it built as a community centre with social projects benefiting everyone in the area.

Durban North, once an elite suburb reserved for white minority South Africans only in the apartheid era, now boasts a large number of sixth and seventh-generation citizens of Indian origin who have established their own mosque there.

This has also been the case in many other former “white” suburbs across the country, often leading to tensions with neighbours of other faiths over the Azaan (call to prayer) sounded over loudspeakers five times daily.

Previous incidents have included a pig’s head being thrown into mosques and strong altercations between opponents and adherents of the faiths, but this is believed to be the first time that a bombing attempt has been made on a mosque. PTI FH GRS GRS GRS

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