Reflections by Shabbir Banoobhai
I have just returned from Friday prayer at the Claremont Main Road Mosque where the pre-prayer talk focused on the horrendous crimes being committed by ISIS in Syria and Iraq – both against non-Muslims (primarily, the Yazidis) as well as against Muslims. Amongst the most recent reported atrocities of the group, is the beheading of captured journalists.
The entire congregation of the Claremont Main Road Mosque, led by the beloved human rights activist known to many South Africans (Imam Rashied Omar) unequivocally condemned the actions of ISIS and held a protest vigil outside the Mosque after the Friday prayer. Both the major theological organizations influencing Muslim life in South Africa (the Muslim Judicial Council and the Jamiat -ul- Ulema) have also condemned ISIS.
The pre-prayer talk given by Omar Shaukat (a PhD candidate at University of Virginia in the United States) was broadcast live by a local Muslim radio station. There was coverage of the talk by other media as well. The talk was attended by many adherents of other faiths – the Claremont Main Road Mosque being prominent in the inter-faith movement. The protest vigil too therefore was multi-religious.
It is critical, when crimes are committed in our name (or may be perceived to be committed in our name), that we stand up and say: No! Not in our name! Moreover, it is essential that those committing such unspeakable crimes should not only be stopped but held accountable for their actions.