South Africa’s Muslim community says as many as 130,000 Muslim fans could visit for the World Cup and it has set up welcome centres and a website to inform visitors where to eat and pray close to stadiums.
In Cape Town, local Muslims are expecting to welcome Muslim supporters from Algeria, who will play England in Cape Town on Friday, as well as fans of Muslim faith from competing nations such as Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Cameroon.
Just minutes from Cape Town’s Green Point stadium is the Bo-Kaap district, one of the city’s oldest residential quarters and traditionally associated with the Muslim community. (Photo: A mosque in the Bo-Kaap district of Cape Town, 20 April 2010/Mike Hutchings)
A special exhibition at the Bo-Kaap museum offers information about the history of Islam in South Africa as well as practical tips on where to eat and pray. A special “Islamic Cape Town Map” has also been produced and left in the prayer room of the airport.
Similar initiatives are taking place in other host cities and there is also a website: www.samuslims2010.net.