From the news desk

Hajj scandal: Public Protector must intervene

South African Hajj pilgrims might well be up in arms about the illegal sale of visas and the alleged corruption of certain tour operators, but historically, Hajj rip-offs are as old as the Hajj itself, a sacred Abrahamic ritual. Wherever people have journeyed to Mecca, carrying their precious silver, gold[…]

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Hajj crisis: yearning for the traditional values

WHEN I first went to Makkah in the 1980’s I bought a ticket via Thomas Cook – no SAHUC, no agents, no problems. But then things were a lot simpler. The most direct air route to Jeddah was via Nairobi, where you hoped your transit would be brief. We were[…]

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Al-Shabab, the Taliban of the Horn

Part One, the Birth of the Islamic Courts Union TWO weeks after we’d left Mogadishu, the wall next to which I used to make my satellite broadcasts in our compound was damaged in a bomb blast. A mere block away on Kilometre 4, the city’s most notorious junction, an Al-Shabab[…]

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Giving hope to Somalia

Shafiq Morton accompanied Gift of the Givers on its most recent aid mission to Mogadishu FROM the air, the Somali coastline is postcard pristine. Waves curl over coral reefs, and dunes lead to sandy beaches. As our plane dips towards Mogadishu, the Horn of Africa’s most troubled city comes into[…]

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Syria: A Question of Competing Narratives

IT is much easier to understand Syria, currently stricken with political revolt, in the light of history. Since time immemorial, a host of empires have decamped on its soil. Damascus, watered by the Barada River, is one of the oldest capitals in the world. Sharing a 900 km border with[…]

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Muslim Community Media: A Ground Plan

The Muslim Community Media Trust MY article in the pre-Ramadan edition of Muslim Views (Muslim Community Media: Is it My Final Crossroads?) has, I hope, led to some introspection about the lot of those who work within our community, especially the media. In it I confronted the harsh realities that[…]

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Ramadan: a reminder of our frailty

TODAY over a billion Muslims around the globe, having sighted the first crescent of the moon, will begin to fast in the Holy Month of Ramadan. From just before the first thread of dawn to just after sunset, they will be compelled to abstain from food, drink, sex, vainglorious talk[…]

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