SA communities prepare for 2010

http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/news/newsid=1170723.html

(LOC) Wednesday 17 February 2010

With the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ just months away, the South African Muslim community is hard at work preparing to welcome the many Muslim players and fans that are expected to be in the country in June and July this year.

A number of Halaal restaurants are being opened throughout Host Cities and Halaal organisations, such as the National Independent Halaal Trust (NIHT), have increased inspections at newer franchises to increase the number of Halaal establishments.

“Volunteers will be placed outside stadiums handing out lists of Halaal restaurants, products and prayer facilities in that city and they will also answer any questions from Muslim spectators,” said Moulana Abdul Wahab Wookay, head of the NIHT.

The Johannesburg based Council of Muslim Theologians are creating a brochure which comprises of a list of prayer venues, Halaal restaurants and helpful guidelines for Muslim guests in the Gauteng province.

“These brochures will be made available at all major hotels, guest houses and the provinces airports. It will contain pertinent information to assist the Muslim traveller,” said Moulana Bilal Vaid from the council’s media desk.

For Wookay, preparations for Muslim guests takes longer and attention needs to be focused on detail.

“Food and beverages are one thing, but other non-natural perishables like chocolates, sweets and pharmaceuticals could contain non-Halaal substances such as pork-based substances or extracts from an un-Islamic slaughtered animal. That’s why details are so important,” said Wookay.

Another important factor pertaining to Muslim guests is prayer facilities. “It is mandatory for Muslims to pray five times a day,” said Vaid who mentioned that more Mosques/Masaajids will be opened for the tournament to accommodate both male and female Muslim spectators.

There are currently 500 Mosques/Masaajids in South Africa.

Fifa.com

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