From the news desk

Scholar denies threats over ISIS comments

Share this article

A Johannesburg based scholar has rubbished media reports that he was subject to threats over his condemnation of the Islamic State (ISIS). Maulana Shabbier Ahmed Saloojee was quoted in an article as saying he received threatening phone calls over his opposition to the group. He said the supposed threat was merely a solitary hoax call that should not be overly analysed.

The report in question suggested Muslim scholars in South Africa were quickly becoming the subject of anonymous threats for speaking out against the atrocities committed by ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

Saloojee, the principal of the Zakariyya Park madrassa, said he had urged the reporter in question not to report on the call, as there was no genuine concern or threat to his safety.

“I didn’t even take any notice of it, and I think there’s nothing to really worry about,” he said.

“It’s unfortunate that the reporter has given prominence to the phone call, and not to the real problems we are facing.”

Expanding on the supposed threat of an ISIS emergence in South Africa, as has been perpetuated in mainstream media, he stressed that no recognisable religious organisation had, or would give recognition and legitimacy to the group. Furthermore, scholars within Iraq and ‘Sham’, where IS’s presence is most prominent, had also distanced themselves from the group’s activities.

“A disturbing factor for us is that IS has been given a lot of credibility from a media point of view. Unfortunately because of that media coverage, it has made people forget the real issues in Syria; the orphans and widows that are suffering,” he said.

The incident comes on the backdrop of intensified interest on a local front, following a Capetonian girl’s attempt to leave the country and join up with IS in Syria; the first official case of recruitment in SA. But Salogee said the media, as well as the rise in social media, had effectively led to a few ‘isolated case’ being blown out of proportion.

He further urged local Ulema to not fear speaking up, and expressing their opinion and condemnation of the group. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)

Share this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

WhatsApp WhatsApp us
Wait a sec, saving restore vars.