Archive for February 2013
Some of the speakers at the event, from left to right – Yasmin Sooka of the Foundation for Human Rights, Prof Farid Esack of UJ, Mbuyesni Ndlovu BDS SA, Janet Love, Kayum Ahmed of the SAHRC and Prof Steven Friedman of Rhodes University. Photo credit :Hassan Isilow
By Hassan Isilow
JOHANNESBURG: Prominent members of the South African Muslim community have dispelled a long term myth which claimed that Muslims hated Jews. On Sunday January 27, a group of prominent Muslims joined the Jewish community in commemorating the Holocaust Memorial Day. “As a Muslim, I came here to show solidarity with the Jewish community in remembering the Holocaust which claimed the lives of millions of Jewish people,” said Professor Farid Esack of the University of Johannesburg. He also used the opportunity to warn the Israeli government to stop committing atrocities against Palestinians since this would put them at the risk of committing a Holocaust against Palestinians.
Other prominent Muslim figures who spoke at the event were Yasmin Sooka of the Foundation for Human Rights and Kayum Ahmed, CEO of the South African Human Rights Commission. In his presentation, Ahmed condemned the perpetrators of the Jewish holocaust. He also criticised some imams(Muslim Preachers) whom he claimed were telling their worshippers to hate the Jews because of their conflict with Palestinians.
However, this statement did not go well with councillor Abdul Razak Noorbhai, chairman of Al Jama-ah political party in Gauteng who was present at the function. “I think Ahmed’s statement was offensive to the Muslim community. I wonder if he said these too merely impress the Jewish community or he meant what he said?” he questioned.
The event which was held at Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg was organised by BDS South Africa and Open Shuhada Street and was endorsed by a number of human rights organizations like Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, the Coalition for a Free Palestine and the Desmond and Leah Tutu Family Legacy Foundation. Other speakers at the event included Professor Steven Friedman, Janet Love and Mbuyiseni Ndlovu.
The Holocaust Remembrance Day is an international memorial day for all UN member states to remember the victims of the Holocaust, the genocide that resulted in the death of 6 million Jews, 2 million Gypsies and 15,000 homosexuals by the Nazi regime in Germany.
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