The Western Cape Department of Community Safety and Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) have agreed to partner on several ongoing youth safety initiatives, with the aim of eradicating drug and gang culture from the local communities. Officials from the respective parties met on Thursday, with the goal of discussing collaborative ways to address the issues that continue to plague the city’s youth.
In a bid to expand its current youth safety plans, the department has sought to reach out to faith based groups across the spectrum. This comes as youth in the communities are becoming ever more disillusioned at the lack of opportunities afforded to them in order to escape their current situations. As such, many have fallen into an endless trap of drug and gang related activity.
According to MEC Community Safety, Dan Plato this scourge could not be fought alone, hence the departments need for partnerships with groups situated within the communities themselves.
“We need the churches and we need the mosques, we need the Christian and we need the Muslim faiths to take hands and stand together to fight this evil in our communities,” he explained.
MJC secretary-general Maulana Abdul Khaliq Allie said the ulema hopes to build a bridge between the youth and ulama through projects and strategies to be implemented at local masajid and madaris.
“We ultimately want to address issues such as gangsterism and matters pertaining to the youth. We want to work towards understanding how the collaboration can create opportunities for the youth in the community,” Allie said.
The department, along with local religious faith based groups, are hoping to create dialogue needed amongst the youth, to ultimately help them become positive contributors to the development of their communities.
“Our Child Protection Project, while in its consultation phase, is a direct attempt by the MJC to ensure the rights of children are being protected in our communities. Through awareness and informative workshops, we have selected a few of our members to work in close proximity with the department, to ensure this project and many others roll out in the near future,” Allie explained.
MJC deputy president, Sheikh Riyaad Fataar will be at the forefront of this project with the department. Allie said the MJC has always aimed to serve the community through guidance by creating a safer environment for children.
“We are currently developing a youth guidance document for all ulema. We are working in partnership with Islamic Relief. There is a need to connect with the youth on a stronger level. We have identified a group of young Ulama to drive these particular projects. In reality, the MJC cannot do this alone. We need our ummah on the ground, to continue with their sterling work,” Allie added.
“With this being the 70th anniversary of the MJC, we are committed to engage with our community and to consult with various experts to achieve success Insha-Allah.”
Out of Thursday’s meeting, both the department and MJC resolved to appoint officials that would likely meet on a regular basis to carve out and discuss constructive initiatives. Follow up meetings would be scheduled within the near future.
Plato concluded: “I have immediately after the meeting given a directive to the departments senior officials, and we will appoint a high level official from our side to engage with the council” he said, adding that the first point of call would be to present to the MJC the department’s current plans for the upcoming June/July holiday period. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)