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SA Muslims to unpack ISIS phenomenon

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Is South Africa vulnerable to ISIS activity on its soil? That’s the question experts will unpack at IPSA’s 7th Annual Wasatiyyah Symposium, to be held in Cape Town on Saturday 20 May under the theme ‘ISIS in South Africa? Measuring its Scope and Mitigating its Influence’.

This year’s event is hosted in partnership with the Afro Middle East Centre (AMEC) and seeks to examine the presence of aspects of ISIS’s political theology in South Africa and to propose ways of mitigating its destructive potential.

The symposium will bring together some of the leading Muslim scholars, policy makers, political commentators, government officials, and journalists in South Africa to dissect the phenomenon and propose ways of mitigating ISIS’s political theology locally. One of the outcomes of the symposium will be the publication of an edited volume. The papers and findings of the symposium will be published and will be made widely available.

“The value of the publication will be its contribution to the enrichment of the understanding, for scholars, Muslim leaders, and policy and decision makers, of the phenomenon of Muslim extremism in South Africa and elsewhere in the world,” says IPSA principal, Shaykh Ihsaan Taliep.

The symposium will be divided into six broad themes: Contemporary Forms of Extremisms; Why a Research Agenda Tracking Muslim Extremism? Moderating Media Hysteria, Identifying Root Causes & Mitigating the Effects; ISIS and Media Coverage in South Africa; ISIS: Perspectives from the `Ulama’; ISIS: Perspectives from Muslim Organizations, and ISIS: Perspectives from Government.

Organised have roped in a solid line up of speakers including former US ambassador Ebrahim Rasool (World for All); Shaykh Seraj Hendricks (IPSA); Na’eem Jeenah (AMEC); Dr Rashied Omar (CMRM); Khadija Patel (Mail and Guardian); Ml Sulaimaan Ravat (Radio Islam); Karen Jayes (CAGE AFRICA); Prof Ebrahim Arnold (IPSA); Dr Andrea Brigaglia (UCT); Raeesah Cachalia (ISS); Advocate AB Mohamed and Honourable Minister David Mahlobo from the Department of State Security.

The annual Wasatiyyah symposium is IPSA’s flagship event that reflects its “middle-way” educational philosophy. This year the event is being hosted in conjunction with the Spice Mecca Ramadan Expo.

According to organisers, the aim is to open up the discursive space beyond academia by engaging the broader public on this critical issue of combatting Muslim extremism.

The 7th Annual Wasatiyyah Symposium will be held at the Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town from 08h30-16h30.

The symposium is free and open to the public, however RSVP is essential as seating is limited.
RSVP to npatel@ipsa-edu.org to secure your symposium e-ticket

Tune into Drivetime everyday at 5.35pm this week for a preview of the symposium with various guests.


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