A hope for communities

2019-04-16 06:01
Young and old prayed for peace in Manenberg. PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

Young and old prayed for peace in Manenberg. PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

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In an attempt to bring peace in volatile communities, Manenberg Centre of Islamic Information and Education hosts rounds of duas in hotspot areas.

This came just week after an alleged gang shooting by unknown men that left five people injured including a minor outside the Beatrix Court.

More than a hundred people of all ages from the community joined the hour-long duas and recited the thikr on Thursday 11 April in Manenberg. The street was calm and everyone, including those who watched from the distance, honoured the moment. All that could be heard were the sounds of the duas and thikr (singing) before the speakers gave brief speeches about the purpose of the programme.

It was explained that the programme was a continuous attempt to restore peace, support the victims of gang violence and call for unity in the community.

Though dominated by the Muslim community, Salieg Isaacs says it is not discriminating and aims to be an interfaith initiative. He says Manenberg has been troubled for years and many lives have been lost, and it is time that residents join hands and try to find solutions. “The situation will not change overnight but we want our people to know they have options.”

Isaacs says they understand there are many factors influencing the violence including poor parenting. “You will find that some became gang members because their parents were members and it became a culture in the family.” Socio-challenges, a lack of activities and knowledge, are some of the reasons but they are opening their arms saying they are ready to walk every step of the way with anyone willing to change.

“It is possible because if you grew up here, it does not mean you have to be part of the gang. We also grew up here but made the most of the opportunities we got. Anyone can do it.”

Sherwood Park Neighbourhood Watch assured security throughout the duas.

Its chairperson, Shahied Francis says the situation in the community has been tense since the last incident and it is through programmes like these that they hope people will recover and gain their courage to unite a fight against crime.

Francis was disappointed that the Manenberg police were not part of the service.

A police van could only be seen driving around doing street patrols.

Attendees were treated to a light meal donated by the Manenberg Thikr Jamaat, who work hand in hand with the Muslim community in all communities they visit on Thursdays. Among other communities, the duas have been hosted in different hotspots in Manenberg, Tafelsig and Heideveld.

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