The case in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court recently dealt with another complaint regarding the Muslim call to prayer.

Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos says the High Court made a ‘serious mistake’ in its ruling last week over a noise complaint lodged in respect of the Muslim call to prayer.

The court in KwaZulu-Natal ruled that a Durban madrasah must ensure its calls to prayer are not audible in the building of a neighbour’s house across the street.

De Vos joined CapeTalk’s Jeremy van Wyk to explain why he thinks the judgment was wrong.

(Click below to hear the full conversation)

The neighbour is anti-Islam. He’s got prejudices against the religion. He hates the relgion and he says it upsets him terribly that he hears this noise.

Pierre de Vos, Claude Leon Foundation Chair in Constitutional Governance – University of Cape Town

When it comes to the Call to Prayer, I would say that as long as the noise is not amplified to such an extent that it really is becoming a nuisance it will fall within what the law says we all have to tolerate in order to live and let live.

Pierre de Vos, Claude Leon Foundation Chair in Constitutional Governance – University of Cape Town

Instead of saying ‘what is reasonable?’ the judge says, well because he’s complaining and he doesn’t like it, he has a right to property and to enjoy the property completely undisturbed and so because he complains we have to grant the interdict.

Pierre de Vos, Claude Leon Foundation Chair in Constitutional Governance – University of Cape Town

De Vos adds that the ruling also has the effect of ‘indirectly endorsing religious prejudice against the Islamic faith.’

I find it quite a shocking ruling to make because it seems to endorse the prejudices of the neighbour.

Pierre de Vos, Claude Leon Foundation Chair in Constitutional Governance – University of Cape Town



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