PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Freedom From Speech
 
Comments: 69
Article views: 3143
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all Freedom From Speech's badges.
 

Islam in South Africa

16 January 2014, 17:32

"I am beginning to resent the confusion that's being imposed on us ... between religious belief, blasphemy, ethnicity, profanity and what we might call multicultural etiquette. It is quite common now for people to use the expression "anti-Islamic racism"; as if an attack on a religion was an attack on an ethnic group. The word "Islamophobe" in fact is beginning to acquire the opprobrium that was once reserved for racial prejudice. This is a subtle and very nasty insinuation" 

“... bearing that awful trinity of self-hatred; self-pity and self-righteousness” - Christopher Hitchens on Islam

Being a man who is “agnostic”as to whether the glass is half full or half empty, you will have to decide for yourself whether it is cynical to say that the steady growing cloudy undercurrent of Islamic extremism on the African Continent made it’s world stage debut in the most spectacularly horrific way on 23 September 2013 at Westgate Mall, Nairobi.

Although Islam has always glorified death, I was still left reeling at the thought of asking a woman to recite the Qu'ran or die at gunpoint in front of her children, or indeed those of others. Such infinite cruelty.

Historically speaking, three loosely grouped waves of Islam migrants are the roots of the melting pot of Islam we see in South Africa today. Originally on the backs of the African and Asian Slaves of the VOC, later from indentured labourers from India as well as a post-apartheid wave of African Muslims looking for a better tomorrow.

While the commitment to the Qu'ran from those early migrants and political exiles of the Dutch was summed up in a single act on Robben Island in the 1760’s by a one Prince Abdullah Kadi Abu Salaam from Indonesia who wrote the entire Qu'ran from memory while incarcerated.

It is regrettable that, as mainstream monotheisms grow they seem to exhibit a directly proportional growth with those who listen to their ‘spiritual’ elders while never bothering to read their fundamental texts and draw their own conclusions. This, I understand, is all the more made difficult when one adds the hatred that is a death promise for apostasy.


The apathetic attitude surrounding Islamic extremism in South Africa is as tangible as Jacob Zuma’s apparent lack of effort to read the Mission Statement on his namesake Foundation and make a conclusive interpretation thereof. Even more worrisome, our ruling party looks far more inclined to make the same mistakes as countless other Governments when being introduced to such unmitigated violence through racial profiling and poor military decision making; incapable of finding an innovative solution.

Our ‘bubble’ of safety does not take into account the growing numbers of Islamic people on local soil, including growing numbers of South African nationals disillusioned to hear the bible of the God of Abraham was used to rationalise racism and the marginalization of people of colour during apartheid. Alas, they by and large do not realise that large parts of the Qu’ran are simple plagiarisms of that bible without the decency to change out the adjective’s.

Shamelessly purchasing into a system that would seek to perpetuate superstition in a culture already riddled with bigotry not only from the pulpit but from the president himself who doesn't even have the social skill to pretend to endorse LGBT rights for the sake of constitutional alignment (Heritage Day 2006). Not the first time nor I daresay the last that the good book will be used to such effect.


Though it would be unfair to say that Islam has not had it’s contributors to our country or indeed the city where it all began for South Africa; begging the question; if the Qu’ran(or the bible for that matter) had any basis in solid truth, then why have it’s followers not attained some sort of consensus by now? Is it just possible that these fundamentalists who moderates deny being ‘Islamic’ may just be sticking to the true fundamentals of the Quran better than the moderates can? Forgive the speculation however I am sure the bikers of Boko Haram or the martyrs of Westgate Mall and Al-Shabaab would answer yes to the last point.

In 2010, the Jumaital Ulama, urgently and with a rather drab predictably attempted to interdict satirical cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro (Zapiro) for doing a piece depicting Prophet Mohammed in a therapy session with the speech bubble: “All the other prophets have a God with a sense of humour” during the “Draw Prophet Mohammed” Day, a day held every year since 2010 in solidarity with satirical cartoonists who argue, quite rightly, that none should be free from satire in a country or ideally globe where free speech is practiced. Free speech is too often met with the label “Islamophobe” that falls sloppily and without intellect from the mouths of the religious and apologists who rather than deal with issues surrounding Islam and the Qu’rans contribution to violent extremism, scream rhetorically “leave Islam alone” with less thought attribution than most viral video.

The screaming never stopped in 2011 when the South African Government looked to introduce the Muslim Marriages Bill designed to protect women in Muslim marriage as previously Islamic marriage had not been recognised by state and women were treated as the chattel the Quran would have you believe they are. One of the key proponents of the bill; Waheeda Amien; noted that “since Muslim marriages do not have legal recognition, aggrieved parties such as vulnerable women cannot seek redress in the secular courts.”

Muslim organisations reacted with headlines such as “MMB is anti-Shariah”, as if their stagnant morality on pressing issues such as women’s rights had any sway over legislative power, once again exhibiting that untameable self-righteousness exhibited all over the world of Islam. Missing the point that couples could in fact opt-out of MMB legislative co-operation should they wish to. For shame.

Christopher Hitchens asserted with enough confidence to silence many a man “The end of poverty has a name in fact, it’s called the empowerment of women.” Wise words and ones which I would urge us all to heed particularly in an African context where our democracy and constitution are marveled the world over as a story of hope. Bear in mind the traditional polygamous marriages we have taken to entertain may immediately put us at a predisposition to women rights abuse.

I am afraid of the label “sensationalist” should I not mention that in population as a whole Islam is rather small in South Africa, some estimates ranging as low as 1,5%. However lets bear in mind: “the only thing more dangerous than telling you an idea once, is telling it to you twice.”  and I would however warn any government that taking an apathetic approach to something as incredibly dangerous and seemingly contagious as violent religious fundamentalism would be to turn your back on a deadly foe who perhaps one day might value taking your life over preserving his own.


Guarantee to the religious community their freedom of expression and in turn the governments right to hear it. Put a “little black box” in every mic stand of every pulpit of every house that makes the claim that their God and theirs alone is the one which will grant you the key to the age old infantile idea of eternal youth, and independently police the entire religious institution. Only through reconciliation can we truly utilize the skills in human resources and the potential South Africa possesses. Marginalization and human rights violations should be kept in the past at all cost and given religions outstanding contribution to both of the above presently and historically, it surely can be warranted.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
69 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
fransvisserdsb
If I was the President...

It may not be perfect, but it would be a hell of a lot better than the current shambles. Read more...

3 comments 187 views
Submitted by
Julian Faasen
How can we drive real change at U...

Despite my positive intentions, friends have noted that I’m in danger of saying things that will result in me being perceived as a racist. Read more...

5 comments 303 views
Submitted by
Kalibanache
Saluting the bloody Aussies for a...

I just think back to our 438 Victory over Australia, That was after they set a world record of runs to chase down.. Read more...

8 comments 1162 views
Submitted by
ThatHumanist
What comes after religion?

God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers?  Read more...

75 comments 883 views
Submitted by
Elaine Bing
Why can't they see?

Why continue to vote for people that rob you and make promises they don’t keep? What is wrong with people?  Read more...

0 comments 340 views
Submitted by
Eric de Castro
Dark temptations

Have you ever been tempted by the Darkside? Have you fought back courageously; only to lose your confrontation with the Dark Forces?  Read more...

18 comments 1170 views
 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2015 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.