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Local Muslim organisations to support Pharrell protest

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A planned protest action outside the concert of U.S. singer-songwriter, Pharrell Williams is gaining traction amongst organisations sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) and the Al Quds Foundation of South Africa has now given its full backing to the BDS protest, which is scheduled to take place outside Grandwest Casino on Monday. The foundation has expressed its dismay at William’s decision to partner and perform under the banner of local retailer Woolworths, barely a week after a show in the Israeli capital, Tel Aviv.

Al Quds Foundation National Executive director, Sheigh Ishaaq Taliep said the concert was a cunning move on the part of Woolworths, the target of a BDS boycott, to try and win support and sympathy with the country’s youth market.

And while BDS has attempted to make Pharrell “see sense” in regards to the boycott campaigns against Woolworths and Israel, there has been little fruition.

“We did not meet with any success in that regard,” he said.

Taliep praised BDS as an organisation with a good track record in ‘persuading’ business entities to divest from Israel.

“They made these people see sense, and also look at the issue of the Palestinian struggle and the occupation within Palestine. This is a moral fight, and one for the recognition of people’s rights and restitution,” he said.

The Foundation has been joined in their support by the International Peace College of South Africa (IPSA), who in a statement released on Friday said it fully endorsed the BDS Movement, its Woolworths boycott, and the call for a protest against the Woolworth’s/Pharrell collaboration.

“It is our considered opinion that international peace cannot be achieved without the establishment of justice. It has now been established that Israel is an unjust state and is proven guilty of injustice to Palestinians living under its occupation for decades. It is immoral to have relations with such an entity,” read the statement.

They also expressed concern that Woolworths were now not only trading with Israel, but promoting artists with a pro-Israeli affinity.

“As a tertiary institution whose ethos is one of justice, peace and tolerance, IPSA calls upon all its staff and students to support BDS by being present at the protest scheduled for Monday, 21st September 2015,” it added.

The BDS protest is scheduled to take place outside Grandwest Casino in Goodwood, starting at 3pm on Monday. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)

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