SOUTH AFRICA: Bishops Condemn Attack on Mosque

CAPE TOWN, MAY 18, 2018 (CISA) – The South African Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC) has condemned an attack on a mosque in the country which claimed life of one man and left two injured.

“We strongly condemn this bloody and futile attack and call upon law enforcement agencies to work diligently to bring the perpetrators to justice,” said the bishops in a statement dated May 11 and signed by Archbishop Stephen Brislin, President of SACBC.

According to CRUX, Mechanic Abbas Mohamedelo Essop died after his throat was cut in the May 10 attack on the mosque in Verulam, which is situated about 20 miles north of Durban, when three men armed with guns and knives attacked the mosque.

“Religious tolerance has long been a characteristic of South African society, and those who wish to wreak havoc, and set one faith community against another, must never be allowed to succeed,” they said in their statement.

Fr Brett Williams the Archdiocesan Chancellor also criticised the attack saying “Christians and Muslims should live peacefully side by side in the Archdiocese of Durban.”

“This attack is saddening despite the strong bond among people of different faiths in Durban,” he added.

Emmanuel Cathedral and Jumma Masjid mosque are neighbours in central Durban, and their members work together, serving the city’s poor in the Denis Hurley Centre, which is positioned between them, Williams said in a May 11 telephone interview. The canter is named after the city’s former Catholic Archbishop.

“On assessing the crime scene, it was found there was an element of extremism to it,” said Simphiwe Mhlongo, the Crime Investigation spokesman.

South Africa has not been a target for Islamist militant attacks such as those in some other African countries.