MJC celebrates 72 years

Ahmed Behardien was the first president of the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC).

The Muslim Judicial Council is celebrating 72 years of serving the community.

Their anniversary was celebrated at The Venue Broadway in Lansdowne on Wednesday February 8 when the top matriculant in the Western Cape and top achieving matriculants of the Association of Muslim Schools in the province were acknowledged.

Over the years the MJC has partnered with various organisations including Darul Islam Zakah Fund, Islamic Relief South Africa, IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation in Turkey and Al-Azhar primary and high schools, and have kept in touch with the community so they know where help is needed.

Maulana Shu-aib Appleby, the MJC media liaison officer, said they have a close relationship with the imams and sheiks of each mosque.

Every year they host iftaar programmes for the breaking of fast during the Holy month of Ramadaan, as well as meat distribution for Eid.

Sixty-two founding members attended the MJC’s inaugural public meeting on February 10 1945, at the Cathedral Hall in Queen Victoria Road, Cape Town.

An executive committee with 19 members was elected by February 17.

The executive committee comprised of sheikhs and imams including Achmat Behardien, Shaakier Gamieldien, Igsaan Gamieldien, Abdullah Gamieldien, Ismail Edwards, Mogamat Salih (Abadie) Solomons, I Moos, Tape Jassiem, M Moos, Abbas Jassiem, I Taliep, Abdullatief Parker (Imam Babu), Abdullah Behardien, Muawiyyah Sedick, Abdul Bassier, Sulayman Harris, Abduragman Salie, Armien Mustafa, Ariefdien Manuel and Hashiem Edross who was the general secretary.

The current staff count at the MJC, which is based in Cashel Avenue, Athlone, is 29.

Mr Appleby said that one of their challenges is funding.

“Because we are not a very wealthy organisation, we are not able to invest in a lot of projects whereas if we did have more funding we would be able to invest in a lot more, but through the partnerships that we have we have managed to overcome those challenges,” he said.

Mr Appleby said another obstacle they face is people’s misconception about the MJC.

He said people are welcome to speak to MJC president Sheik Irfaan Abrahams.

“That is overcome when the MJC invites people to come and meet him and engage with him personally with issues that they have,” he said.

Mr Appleby added that he would like to thank the community for their support over the years and their willingness to assist the MJC when it is required.

“We also ask them to come directly to the MJC if they want to give any further assistance or volunteer,” he said.

For more information, call the MJC on 021 684 4600.