KNYSNA NEWS - The controversial construction of a mosque in Rawson Street, Knysna is scheduled to commence in September – the culmination of a journey of 11 years for the local Muslim community who in 2007 set out in search of a property to build the town's first establishment of this kind.
News that the final building plans were approved from the municipality on 5 July was received with much enthusiasm in the Muslim community. The final step will be the completion of the structural design after which actual construction will begin.
The Knysna Muslim Council (KMC) faced a two-year legal battle following objections to the construction in Rawson Street by a group of homeowners, which was eventually dismissed by the Cape Town High Court in April last year. There has been a high demand for a mosque in Knysna to serve its estimated 100 to 150 Muslims, which doubles in size during peak holiday times such as the Oyster Festival and December holidays.
The current prayer facility, referred to as a musallah or prayer room, is situated at Lamco in Hornlee and can only accommodate a percentage of devotees and often exceeds capacity during the Friday midday prayer, resulting in an overflow.
Omar Essa of the KMC explained that for a Muslim, a mosque is the heartbeat of the community and a centre of spiritual upliftment.
“To put it into context, we moved to Knysna when my son was three years old. Today he is 18 and he has lived most his life without the experience of attending mosque in our town. It has been a long journey since we set out to make this a reality, and it's a major accomplishment to finally, after all these years, be on the verge of construction.”
The mosque will be a modern building that will incorporate both men's and women's facilities, be traveller and tourist friendly, as well feature an education centre where all members of the public will be welcome.
The construction itself, at a current estimated cost of R10-million, could take up to a year to complete.
“We are confident that a mosque will have a positive impact and be of benefit to the greater community,” said Essa.
Click here for previous articles:
- Knysna mosque: Some for, some against
- Knysna is getting a mosque
- Knysna mosque to go ahead
- D-day for Knysna mosque decision
- Knysna mosque: Legal fees mounting
- Mosque battle continues
- Mosque location challenged by locals
- Residents to fight mosque in high court
- Mosque objectors feel 'ignored'
- Muslims relieved about mosque
- Anti-mosque group may resort to court
- A Mosque for Knysna
- Home owners against Mosque
- Knysna Mosque application submitted
- Update: Mosque still on the horizon
- Update: Plans to establish Mosque in Knysna
- Update: Mosque plans progress
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