Manenberg residents came out in their thousands to share a meal in Manenberg Avenue on Sunday May 26.
This is the second annual mass iftaar (breaking of the fast) that the Manenberg Centre of Islamic Information and Education (MCIIE) hosted in the area. Since its inception last year, the MCIIE, under the leadership of Moulana Sameeg Norodien and Sheikh Salieg Issacs, has been hosting a thikr (prayer meeting) once a week at various crime hot spots in the area.
These weekly meetings, said Manenberg SAPS spokesperson, Captain Ian Bennett, has contributed to gang activity subsiding in the area.
“We would like to thank Moulana Norodien and Sheikh Isaacs, because since they started with the prayer evenings in July last year, we have seen positive changes. We’d like to call on all religious leaders to mobilise the community because they have a role to play to uplift the community. If we can strengthen on a spiritual level, then gang culture won’t be able to have such a hold on our community,” Captain Bennett said.
Moulana Norodien said the reason they host the mass iftaar is to bring about unity among the people of Manenberg.
“This is an interfaith event, and to us, it is not just about strengthening our relationship with Allah, but also to renew our connection with our family, friends and community. People who did not speak to each other previously, are now speaking with one another. We need to embrace the short time we have on this earth – even just sharing a smile will make it a better place.
“Change will come, but it will only come if we change. We would like to thank all the stakeholders and generous donors from the bottom of our hearts. This was not done for status. If bad people can do bad things, good people can do good things,” Moulana Norodien said.