As the Middle East continues to be plagued by the scourge of war, the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) is calling into question the apparent silence of the South African government in the wake of gross violations of international humanitarian law. In a bid to encourage discussion around the issue of Syria, on Sunday the MJC held a rally at the Surrey Estate masjid, inviting community members to voice their concerns.
While the entire region has been derailed by on-going conflicts, Syria is considered one of the worst humanitarian disasters of our time. According to the Syrian Human Rights Committee, the death toll on Sunday alone stood at 40, 15 deaths occurring in Aleppo. According to Amnesty International, the conflict, which began in 2011, has to date resulted in the internal displacement of at least 7.6 million civilians and led 4.6 million people to become refugees abroad.
Speaking to VOC’s Breakfast Beat Show, the first deputy president of the MJC, Moulana Abdul Khalik Allie provided an update on the rally.
Allie says that while both the Muslim community within South Africa and abroad have been alarmed by images that have come out of the Syrian Governorate of Aleppo, the South African government has shown little interest in calling attention to the plight of civilians trapped in the besieged territory.
In response, he confirms that the MJC has addressed a letter on Thursday, September 29, to the South African government, as well as the minister of international relations and cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, urging government to adopt a decisive stance on the issue of human rights abuses in Syria.
He notes that the letter speaks to the values of dignity and access to basic human rights that should be afforded to all citizens of the world.
“Globally, [South Africa] is known to be very strong on human rights and on dignity and value of all citizens, globally,” he added.
Echoing the recent call by the chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Allie explains that the MJC is urging South African authorities to show “anger for Halab, which is located within the Aleppo district.
The body further urges all masaajid ulama to educate communities about the issue of Syria, in particular the crisis faced by the citizens of Halab.
“The whole Middle East situation requires critical evaluation for the complexities that it holds, but at this point in time we have a vocal South African Muslim community that stands up for all people of the world. So, it is required for us to stand up for the issue of Syria,” Allie Continued.