Letter to America: if you’re not outraged, you’re part of the problem

2017-01-29 09:54

Dear America and Americans. I am a proudly Muslim South African. No I don’t hate you. No, I don’t hate your values. When President John F Kennedy was assassinated, in Texas, allegedly by Lee Harvey Oswald, I cried the Indian Ocean as I did when Robert Kennedy was assassinated by Sirhan, Sirhan. I also wept when Martin Luther King was assassinated on 4 April 1968 by James Earl Ray in Memphis, Tennessee. These are invariable aberrations that manifest themselves from time to time in the insanity fair that is the USA that was once dubbed the land for the free and for those seeking to escape from oppression.

If you recall we had the assassination of Comrade Chris Hani by Janus Walus and Clive Derby Lewis whose aim was to ignite a race war? Hani's killers action brought SA to the brink of an apocalypse. It took magnanimous minds who saw the future in their minds eye to step in and avoid the blood bath. So where is Nanci Pelosi leader of the Democrats. All she has done is issue a presser condemning the whole thing as unconstitutional and illegal.

Were they amongst the lowest points in your country’s history? Perhaps but for me the lowest point, since then has been exceeded by the election of white supremacist and rabidly Islamophobic Donald Trump for President of the USA . I sadly noted that the majority of you never voted in your country’s national election that saw Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton. That lowest point has unleashed an anti-Muslim program against Muslims starting within days of a loud abusive protest on the Washington Islamic Centre and quickly followed up with the burning of a mosque that is part of a Muslim Centre in Texas.

And then came the outrage of an executive order which effectively bans Muslims from seven Muslim majority states, including green-card holders and people lawfully permitted to enter the USA and most tragic of them all refugees. If reports surfacing about elderly people being detained without cause for over eight hours, denied the right to legal representation and ordered to be deported from the US on entry, are true that is the lowest point yet.

Am I guilty of hyperbole when I say that Muslims are the single most targeted people in the cross hairs of the pogrom unleashed by your president, even though you never voted for him, if you have voted at all? Forgive me for this is what happens when disgust distracts you and away from the outcome that your apathy will see the most dangerous threat to world peace and stability accede to the highest office in your country. (NOTE TO FELLOW SOUTH AFRICANS READING THIS FOR 2019 SLOUCHES LIKE THE BEAST TOWARDS JERUSALEM. YOU HAVE THE CHOICE TO AVOID SA SLIDING THE WAY THE U.S.A IS SLIDING).

I have been following trends evolving and developing on twitter under the hashtag # MuslimBan and most of your comments against those executing the executive order that is being enforced by elected public officials and government functionaries. So too I applaud your lawyers and the New York District Court judge who has issued an injunction against the deportations and the inhumane treatment that people facing the whips of an evil are experiencing. Let me say I SALUTE YOU AND FOR THAT MY SALUTATIONS AND GRATITUDE AS A MUSLIM EXTENDS TO EVERYONE OF YOU WHO HAVE BRAVELY MADE THAT STAND AT AIRPORTS. I salute you for speaking out even those who support the #MuslimBan and here I am referring to twitterers like @ASthakur and @ BiharaBakaitas well as @sachigupta, the latter whose toxic comments were most manifestly against Islam and Muslims.

“The true measure of any society”, Mahatma Gandhi is quoted as saying, “can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.” The current ban on Muslims is making a mockery of that let alone the ban and conduct of elected government officials and immigration officers acting under the thumb of Homeland Security as well as civil servants is in breach of the US Constitution.

You have in your hands and the power to stop this program and to call on your president to reverse this discriminatory practice, even though you didn’t vote for him, because you have the most powerful and most independent and activist judiciary in the world. Just as you have taken to the streets, take the fight all the way to the US Supreme Court like Martin Luther King’s million man march forced Lyndon B Johnston who succeeded John F Kennedy to sign into law the Civil Rights Act that afforded African-Americans to exercise the right to vote.

I recall a conversation online somewhere, a few days ago as I was following trends and debates before and following President Trump’s first few days in office and a young girl asked in public how stupid Germans were in the run up to Adolf Hitler, who was democratically elected like President Donald Trump. How could such an educated and advanced people allow him to introduce anti-Jewish laws and regulations that saw ordinary Germans bludgeoned into silence by his squad of brown shirts and of course the Hitler youth. Propaganda played a pivotal role, according to Daniel Goldhagen, the author of “Hitler’s Willing Executioners” which culminated in ordinary Germans, though in the majority, succumbing and acquiescing in the ultimate of human tragedies in the 20th Century, namely the Holocaust, they simply looked away when neighbours and friends were carted off to the concentration camps.

Six thousand miles from your country we are watching the struggle between the good and evil being waged and I as a Muslim South African am proud for you taking a stand have restored by faith in humanity. To those sitting on the fence or silent, I like what one twitterer @Daymjina posted that “if you’re not outraged, you’re part of the problem”.

As Salaamu Alaikum or Peace and Greetings to you all Americans especially, thank you for reading and sharing this.


Saber Ahmed Jazbhay

Human Rights Media Initiative


South Africa.

Mobile +27828278666


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