Permit me to open this letter with the urging that we must eschew and denounce terrorism and terrorist related conduct anywhere they may be perpetrated.
In SA, we have a matter before our courts pertaining to allegation of terrorism involving ISIS. The matter is subjudice and I am confident that given our impartial judiciary we will reap the rewards of justice.
A few days ago in the UK, one individual, Ahmed Hassan, who tried to blow up a packed tube train at Parsons Green in West London, was reportedly jailed to life imprisonment a few days ago with a recommendation that he serve a minimum of 34 years.
It is pertinent that, in that case, in his sentencing remarks, if the report is accurate – and I have no cause to doubt that – the learned judge, Justice Haddon-Cave, astutely advised Hassan by saying: “You will have plenty of time to study the Qur’an in prison in the years to come.
The judge also said: “You should understand that the Qur’an is a book of peace and that Islam is a religion of peace.”
Pertinently he went on to add that “The Qur’an and Islam forbid anything extreme, including extremism in religion. Islam forbids breaking the ‘law of the land’ where one is living or is a guest. Islam forbids terrorism (hiraba). The Qur’an and the Sunna provide that the crime of perpetrating terror to “cause corruption in the land” is one of the most severe crimes in Islam.”
I unequivocally support and applaud the learned Judge’s comments. I know that I will find unanimous support from all righteous and rational South Africans.
No deliberate, lunatic inspired by despicable act of planning to kill, injure and maim innocent civilians can ever be or should ever be condoned, nor perpetrators be allowed to go unpunished.
To do so, to acquiesce by silence, feeds into the poisonous narratives of serial Islamophobes lurking in our midst.
Negation and disassociation with the tyranny of terrorism and oppression is not an apology or confirmation of the sickness that terrorists and oppressors, garbed in the vestments of religion, propagate. Rather it is the most profound and categorical condemnation by the righteous and the rational people all over the world.
Yes as I agree that it “is vital in redressing the skewed misportrayal perpetrated on a daily basis and is crucial to building the trust lost within our communities.”
Saber Ahmed Jazbhay
Consultant and (retired) Attorney