Voice of the Cape


Judging the book…

THE famous English expression “don’t judge a book by its cover” is an oft-used adage that has become curled at the edges. Covered with greasy fingerprints and yellowed with age, I’m forced to use it because there are none better. It implies, with little ambiguity, that the cover of a[…]

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Going snap, crackle – and pop!

JUST over two years ago I wrote a piece on my blog entitled “The Majlis goes snap, crackle and pop”. In it I dealt with the fulminations of its author, a now elderly maulana based in Port Elizabeth, who for several decades has published a broadsheet called the Majlis. My[…]

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The Halal Report is Precedent-setting, but…

THE recently published report of the Independent Halal Review Panel (IHRP) on the Cape Town-based Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) Halal Trust is a precedent-setting one. This is because there is no record of Islamic judiciaries anywhere in the world in modern history allowing themselves to be publically audited on procedural[…]

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"Spirituality", more than just a word

THE other day a local cleric argued from the mimbar that the word “spirituality” did not exist in the Arabic language. That point in his talk (on which I will focus) certainly caused a measure of consternation in the community. This surprised me because I’d heard Islamic scholars using the[…]

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Really understanding Shariáh

IT is my view that two of the most over-worn words in the English vocabulary today are “democracy” and “jihad”. Democracy has gained currency through the aspirations of people everywhere, whether it be my home country, South Africa, or Egypt after the “Arab Spring”. Most of us understand the theoretical[…]

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Penang and the Patani problem

30/4 – 2/5/11 AFTER the book launch at the Park Hotel, we sell out of Surfing behind the Wall. It’s an encouraging sign. My friend Iskander takes me to visit the tomb of Habib Nuh al-‘Attas, the famous saint of Singapore. His tomb, once atop a hill, now nestles against[…]

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