Recent conflicts in Palestine and Masjidul Aqsa have prompted a renewed effort to gain support for the Palestinian cause amongst the South African community. Sunday saw the arrival of a delegation of five Imams from Masjidul Aqsa in Cape Town. Four talks were scheduled by the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) to culminate on Sunday and Monday in mosques in and around Cape Town.
Monday evening at Tarongo Road Masjid in Crawford saw a talk by one of the imams of Masjidul Aqsa, who was accompanied by a translator and some local imams. The talk was attended by a fairly large audience filling half the mosque, broadcasted live on VOC.
The imam said that he was grateful for being invited to Cape Town and that he would never turn down an invitation down from the people of South Africa.
‘I love you all for the sake of Allah and despite the distance (between us) we are brothers,” he said.
‘We have only seen goodness in them,’ he said, talking about Muslim South Africans.
He urged the Muslim community to go to Masjidul Aqsa for both Itikaf and other religious visits.
“Masjidul Aqsa is crying out of love for you, it’s missing you and missing your invitation.”
For much of the talk the imam urged a renewed interest in Masjidul Aqsa for South African Muslims.
“There is one spot where the people of South Africa can put their luggage, they can sleep, they can make their salah… that is how much South Africans have affected the hearts of the Palestinians.”
The talk went on in much the same way, not delving too deeply into the political situation of Palestine and Masjidul Aqsa.
Basel Agbaria, the translator, and who is himself a very active member in the Palestinian struggle in Cape Town, said the imam was afraid to into the political situation of al-Aqsa for fear of reprisal by both South African and Israeli officials.
“Even he (the imam) is refused entry into Masjidul Aqsa. There is only so much that he can say. That is what it means to be under occupation.”
Agbaria continued to say that that there are many other programmes in Cape Town for the Palestinian cause that one should give support to. He did, however, give caution to those involved in the struggle within Cape Town.
“The people after a while lose that focus. We must re-affirm that we are boycotting Woolworths,” he said in reference to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. VOC (Salmaan Moronell)