South Africa town bans Azaan, Non-Muslims play it in motorcade

Members of the Tactical Shooting Team (TST), lead by Rivaaj Ramdas, a practicing Hindu, drove through the streets of Isipingo, south of Durban, in a motorcade, airing the “Azaan” via a loud speaker.

Cape Town: A High Court Order prevented the Madrasah in a town in South Africa, right to sound the Azaan a Muslim call to prayer after a Isipingo resident Chandra Ellaurie, a self-confessed Islamophobe launched a legal application requesting the Madrassah to end Islamic call to prayer.

Immediately after the move, a community activist group Tactical Shooting Team (TST) has vowed to continue peaceful protest against what they are calling religious intolerance.

Members of the Tactical Shooting Team (TST), lead by Rivaaj Ramdas, a practicing Hindu, drove through the streets of Isipingo, south of Durban, in a motorcade, airing the “Azaan” via a loud speaker, on Sunday afternoon.

Ramdas says this act of solidarity was to show support for the Islamic community and their right to air the “Azaan”. He says the plan is in place to continue other forms of peaceful protest action.

The director of Umvoti Light newspaper and member of the Tactical Shooting Team (TST) Rivaj Ramdas says he and the members of his group have a love for the community irrespective of race, creed or religion.

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Residents of all faiths took to the streets in town in a convoy playing out the Azaan on loudspeakers in Isipingo Beach and surrounding areas in protest of a Durban High Court judgment that limits the Azaan or the Islamic call to prayer after resident Chandra Ellaurie said it disturbed his peace and enjoyment of his property.

Judge  Sidwell MngadiMngadi said Ellaurie who is Hindu, was “unashamedly opposed” to the Islamic faith propagated by the Madrasah.

People were extremely buoyed and gratified by the kind of outpouring of support from other segments of the community including Muslims.

Ramdas says when TST heard about the banning of the Azaan, they were livid.

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“Tears rolled from our eyes because the truth of the matter is we love God in all His forms and I must say to you that we are especially fond of the Muslim community. Because we are so deeply involved in outreach and feeding and serving the homeless, we are more than acutely aware that the one community that you can count on when it comes to taking care of widows as per the Prophet’s (Muhammad [PBUH]) instructions, taking care of the less fortunate, doing charity, it’s the Muslim community,” said to a portal.

“We as TST, members of the Tactical Shooting Team, we are quite sick and tired of the Muslim community being targeted, being ostracized, being criticized purely for their love for the Almighty.”

Ramdas, a practicing Hindu says Ellaurie is in the dark about Islam and does not know the beauty and teachings of Islam, which is universal and benefits everyone.

“I must say to you that when this beautiful Azaan, that I personally whenever I hear the Azaan if I am driving past a mosque or there is a mosque close to where I live, I am reminded of God. So what could be better than being reminded of our Creator, of the Almighty and our Muslim community are being punished because they love Allah.”

Ramdas says what broader communities need to understand is the prayer does not only benefit the devotee, but everyone in South Africa and across the globe.

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