Muslim leader appeals for calm after Cape Town mosque murders

14 June 2018 - 10:25 By Esa Alexander And Aron Hyman
Western Cape community safety MEC Dan Plato (right) at the Malmesbury mosque on Thursday with Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) president Sheikh Irfaan Abrahams, middle, and MJC first deputy president Moulana Abdul Khalid Allie.
Western Cape community safety MEC Dan Plato (right) at the Malmesbury mosque on Thursday with Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) president Sheikh Irfaan Abrahams, middle, and MJC first deputy president Moulana Abdul Khalid Allie.
Image: Esa Alexander

The leader of Cape Town’s Muslims appealed for calm on Thursday after a Somalian killed two men during night prayers at Malmesbury mosque.

Speaking at the mosque‚ Muslim Judicial Council president Sheikh Irfaan Abraham said: “The Somali community are part of us. Whatever happened‚ they are part of us. We have a very good relationship with the Somali community.”

Flanked by MJC first deputy president Moulana Abdul Khalid Allie and former Western Cape premier Ebrahim Rasool‚ Abraham said President Cyril Ramaphosa had extended condolences to the families and community affected by the bloodshed.

“It’s been a long night and I thank the president for his immediate intervention‚ asking the authorities to go and do the necessary work‚” said Abraham.

He appealed to the Muslim community to remain calm and not to retaliate in any way. “We know the law of the land and we will abide by that. The police must do their job and do it properly. We will listen to the outcome of the investigation‚” he said.

He said the killings were particularly tragic as the Muslim community neared the end of the holy month of Ramadaan. “More specifically as it occurred in a mosque‚ and we know the sanctity of a mosque must always be respected. Whoever did this showed no respect and crossed the sanctity of the mosque.”

Zainab Bassa (red scarf) wife of Malmesbury mosque victim Ismail Bassa, 74, during prayers at her home on June 14 2018.
Zainab Bassa (red scarf) wife of Malmesbury mosque victim Ismail Bassa, 74, during prayers at her home on June 14 2018.
Image: Esa Alexander

Abraham also went to the home of 72-year-old Ismail Bassa‚ one of the men killed in the mosque‚ and prayed with his widow‚ Zainab.

Zainab said her husband had been “slaughtered in the mosque this morning by a so-called Muslim”.

She added: “I am very strong and I believe [Allah] will guide us through this difficult time.”

At least two people were stabbed to death and others injured in a “brutal” attack at a mosque in Cape Town in the early hours of Thursday morning. Here's what we know so far.


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