The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) has issued a heartfelt appreciation to Cape Town for the massive turnout for Wednesday’s march to Parliament, in support of the people of Gaza. The march, which is being regarded as the biggest pro-Palestinian event of its nature for many years, attracted a nearly 40 000 strong crowd.
Wednesday’s march drew South Africans from all across the country, with many flying in from places like Johannesburg and Durban with the sole purpose of taking part in the protest. The march was also attended by a number of international guests, including the Palestinian ambassador to South Africa, Abdel Hafiz Nofal.
Although not present at the march due to health reasons, MJC president Maulana Ighsaan Hendricks, was delighted with the overwhelming support shown by Capetonians, calling it a culmination of “many years of effort” towards solidarity with the people of Palestine. He said the community had shown many positive signs over the past two weeks, in their level of awareness to the crisis in Gaza.
“I think the level of awareness has been well established in South Africa, and in particular Cape Town. And I think the 30 000 people we had today across South African society was proof of that,” he said.
He was encouraged by the wide range of groups and individuals in attendance at the march, with South Africans breaking racial and religious boundaries in their support for the people of Gaza. He said the MJC were determined that the solidarity campaign not be seen as an exclusively Muslim initiative, but rather a campaign for all those in support of human rights.
Despite the energy and commitment shown by the community, Hendricks warned that the march should not be viewed as the final step in the solidarity campaign. He insisted there was much more work to be done, and there was no reason for South Africans to be comfortable.
Addressing the manifesto handed over to Parliament, Hendricks said the demands listed were a component of the aim to take the solidarity campaign ‘to the next level’. He also urged community members to be more critical of government when it came to their response to such issues.
“I don’t think we can continue having this sort of two sided notion of a relationship. The one is that we show a strong solidarity with the people in the occupied territories, but on another dimension we still enjoy trade relations with Israel,” he stated.
He added that there was a need for the community to unpack what the occupation actually entailed and what the crimes of the occupation actually were. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)