From the news desk

No vigilantism in Islam, say Muslim groups

Share this article

South African ulema, joined by a number of Muslim organisations, have urged Muslims not to resort to vigilantism or violence, as a means of protesting certain ideas. This call comes in the wake of a recent assault on Durban born author Zainub Priya Dala, who at an academic workshop last week, expressed her admiration for the writing style of Salman Rushdie. The British Indian novelist’s most controversial book The Satanic Verses prompted Iranian clergy to issue a death fatwa on him.

A day after the workshop, three males stopped her car, held a knife to her and assaulted her with a brick, leaving her with physical injuries and severe trauma. Dala also alleged she was called “Salman’s bitch”.

The incident has sparked outrage in South Africa, with Muslims calling for tolerance and respect of other’s views. According to the joint statement, co-signed by the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) and United Ulema of South Africa (UUCSA), in Shariah it is unlawful for any person to take the law into his or her own hands.

“While there is no indication of the religious affiliation of the assailants, as a matter of principle in the Shariah, regardless of whomever they are, the Muslim community is united against the un-Islamic actions on sister Zainub, which are unequivocally condemned,” read the statement.

“We call on all to disassociate themselves from and to denounce such acts of delinquency. We also urge everyone to be extra vigilant and help us remove this cancer of hate crimes, whether in writing, or speech or action.”

The ulema agree that even if a lawful authority finds that a crime has been committed, the punishment can be meted out only by the lawful authority. The position is no different under South African Law.

“If this were not the case then the result is vigilantism, kangaroo courts, lawlessness and social anarchy. The alleged wanton aggression of the three thugs is sheer criminality. In the case of sister Zainub, she committed no crime.”

“Human rights are the basic and inalienable rights that are divinely bestowed on every human. Currently we are witnessing atrocities of the worst kind plastered daily in the media headlines. The need of the hour is the revival of the Islamic spirit of not only justice and equity, but also of compassion and mercy. The first step is for us to embrace this spirit within our own lives, a step which we all have the power to do.”

The organisations have urged Muslims to respect the South African constitution, and act within the parameters of freedom of expression and freedom of belief. It added that South Africa Muslims have greater freedoms than that enjoyed by most countries in the world.

“We are the envy of most Muslims who visit our country from abroad. The criminal acts of the intolerant misguided few can have harmful repercussions. The result will be disharmony with the other communities in South Africa, restrictions on the cherished freedoms enjoyed by all citizens and even xenophobic attacks on minorities.”

The statement is supported by the Habibiya Soofie mosque in Westville, South African Muslim Netork (Samnet), Women’s Cultural Group (WCG), Jumma Masjid Trust, Association of Muslim Schools (AMPS), Islamic Medical Association (IMA), Minara Chamber of Commerce, Muslim Visio 2020, and the Islamic Burial Council. VOC

Share this article

1 comment

  1. the mjc jamiats et al are party to these problems, for several years now they have used so-called talks on sahaba to be almost wholly anti-shia tirades, so when god forbid things spill over to violence they will say: we "tried" to prevent it, but meanwhile they are full partners with the likes of "mufti" ak hoosen sh irefaan abrahams et al, …..

WhatsApp WhatsApp us
Wait a sec, saving restore vars.