Minister warned against 'inciting' xenophobia

2014-07-08 05:00
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Cape Town - An Islamic organisation has slammed the deputy minister of international affairs’ recent statements about Boko Haram in SA, saying that it could incite violence and Islamophobia.

The South African Muslims Network (Samnet) said on Monday that Deputy Minister Luwellyn Landers’s comment, “[We] shouldn’t be surprised if Boko Haram is operating in South Africa” stokes the dangerous flames of xenophobia, and needs to be treated with vigilant cynicism and utmost caution.

“Landers’s statements, which are unsubstantiated and have no proof [even by his own admittance], have already ignited internet forums with the kind of anti-foreign sentiments similar to those found scrawled on doors and placards during the 2008 xenophobic violence,” Samnet said in a statement.

According to their press release Samnet said his statements seek to divide not only Muslims, but all Africans. 

“The implications for unwarranted Islamophobia are far-reaching and are also an underhanded insult, uttered as they have been during the holy month of piety and grace. “

Landers made the statement to reporters at Parliament on Wednesday.

He said: "Someone who does a lot of work in Africa said to me it's very difficult to pinpoint just who belongs to Boko Haram because they have succeeded in integrating in every community they seek to be part of."

The Boko Haram made headlines after it kidnapped over 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria's Borno state in April. Other countries, including Cameroon, have begun a crackdown on suspected Boko Haram splinter groups.

- News24
Read more on:    boko haram  |  luwellyn landers  |  cape town  |  religion
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