By Iqbal Jassat
No, no, no, I’m not referring to Joey Rasdien and the events at an elite Sandton-based conference on marriage which set off an unprecedented series of challenges for SA’s ulema. Ulema or Molvis/Muftis who by the way happen to belong exclusively to one particular ethnic group.
While these developments sparked a flurry of claims and counterclaims, revolving around Ramaphosa and the Eidgah; Rasdien and 40000 Hadith; Ahmed Kathrada and his funeral; Al Qalam and its Boycott; Palestinians in Al Quds rose above all their internal divisions to point to Al Aqsa as the key focal point for the Muslim Ummah.
Sadly, while the Palestinians stood up to confront Israel’s military juggernaut, a section of South Africa’s Muslim community revolted against each other – in a pathetic attempt to draw lines in the sand in defense of one group of molvis against another.
Nevertheless in Palestine, the power of unarmed resistance by men, women and children of the soil paved the path to victory and delivered the noble sanctuary to its rightful custodians.
Fortunately the fallout between molvis is not reflective of the larger Muslim community – neither in terms of numbers nor in terms of ethnicity. Cape Town yet again excelled as its Muslim community took to the streets in huge numbers to protest Israel’s barbarity.
It also said to the Arab regimes that our inspiration is drawn from the protestors – young and old – not from those who were ensconced in their gold gilded thrones, unable and unwilling to confront their Zionist “protectors”.
The jokers in the pack, whose conduct left no doubt that Palestine’s freedom struggle cannot depend on them, are the comedians I refer to. They are the unelected despots of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt. Ganging up against Qatar and making outrageous demands while slapping sanctions is turning out to be a poorly thought out script. Poor in judgement and bankrupt in strategy, the Saudi quartet’s comedy of errors is much worse than a lousy joke.
While Palestinians in Occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank stood firmly in defiance of Israel’s violent attempts to subjugate Al Aqsa, the jokers of Riyadh and their allies insisted that their boycott of Qatar will continue to intensify unless Doha moves away from supporting “terrorism”. After initially naming Hamas as one of the groups Qatar had to abandon in addition to a dozen more ridiculous demands, the Saudi quartet emphasized the term “terrorism”.
Bewildering as it sounds, the fact is that their silence on real-time terrorism by Israel’s military in the sacred precincts of Al Aqsa, exposed an agenda driven by a need to cosy up to Netanyahu’s rightwing regime.
As expected, Qatar has no appetite for undermining its sovereignty – whether voluntarily or under duress – and by taking the squabble back to their Arab cousins, has thus far succeeded in thwarting Saudi designs. Drawn into the foray is America’s dimwit president Donald Trump. His much-vaunted mission to the region where he proudly boasted about putting together an alliance of Arab dictators against Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas,
Iqbal Jassat is an acclaimed writer, analyst and commentator and one of the founder members of MRN. His analysis is featured regularly in mainstream and alternate media outlets around the world.