Despite death threats, Dr Taj Hargey, one of Britain's leading Muslim academics and director of the moderate Muslim educational centre of Oxford, has vowed to establish an 'open mosque' that will welcome women and gay Muslims in Cape Town, South Africa.
Dr Hargey, who has long campaigned for a moderate, inclusive form of Islam in Britain and elsewhere, said his aim with the Open Mosque is to counteract growing Islamic radicalism in South Africa. In 2008, his mosque in Oxford became the first in Britain to allow a female Islamic scholar to lead Friday prayers.
He reportedly said that not only he has received "a lot of death threats", but he has also received numerous offers of support.
However, members of the Cape Town Muslim community have used social media to criticise the new mosque, with some labelling him a "heretic" or "non-believer". Dr Hargey has threatened to take action against those spreading lies about the mosque.
The advocacy group Muslim Judicial Council of South Africa has reportedly said it is investigating complaints by members of the Muslim community in Cape Town, adding that the mosque was not a mosque but a "place of worship".