In light of growing Islamophobia around the world, South African Muslims have remained relatively unscathed, living alongside members of all faiths. However, recent reports of Islamophobic remarks made against Democratic Alliance MP, Yusuf Cassim, suggests otherwise. Cassim was allegedly the victim of a barrage of insults made by members of the African National Congress (ANC) when he attended the Livity Africa debate on Thursday.
Speaking to VOC, Cassim, who is also the leader of the Democratic Alliance Students Association, explains that while attending the debate in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, members of the ANC proceeded to hurl insults at him, referring to him as a terrorist and a member of Boko Haram.
He says the insults, which came from both junior and senior ANC members, were due his Islamic garb and his beard, and is “by no means the first time.”
In light of the continued insults, which were said in the presence of the ANC regional chairperson and the ANC regional youth chairperson, Cassim addressed the audience and affirmed that the incident would not go unchallenged.
“They just thought that it was funny and started laughing. In a constitutional democracy with hard-won freedoms, as Muslims we cannot allow type of behaviour to go unchallenged,” Cassim stated.
He believes comments made against him are an insult to all South African Muslims and to the sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him).
He confirmed that he is referring the matter to the South Africa Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and has requested the video footage from the organizes of the debate that confirm his allegations.