A local radio jock who allegedly made Islamophobic comments on her Facebook page will have to ‘face the music’ if found guilty, writes an Al Qalam Reporter.
Freelance Lotus FM Radio presenter, Pauline Rosanna Sangham, who was abruptly taken off the air by the SABC after she allegedly made hateful comments against Islam and Muslims on her Facebook page now faces even greater troubles that involve civil and criminal legal actions, including being hauled before the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).
Sangham, of Durban’s North Beach, presented the Night Café music show and the Christian Gospel Hour show on Lotus FM. She is keeping a low profile and her last post on Facebook was on March 19.
In one Facebook post under her name, Sangham allegedly wrote: “Islam is a false religion, based upon a false book written by a false prophet. Allah of the Quran is not the Jesus of the Bible.”
But, when called out to answer to a number of Islamophobic hate comments, Sangham vehemently denied writing those comments, alleging her Facebook account was “hacked”. Sangham, who was previously married to a Pakistani Muslim for 11 years, denied in a Salaamedia radio interview that her spew of hate stems from her acrimonious relationship with a Muslim man.
When contacted by Al Qalam, Sangham said she preferred not to comment any further because her previous comments to the media were being misinterpreted. Sangham said she had appointed a spokesperson to talk on her behalf from now on – and she would send this reporter the contact details of that person. “I am driving right now and can’t talk to you. I’m on my way to the cinema,” she added.
However, she failed to send Al Qalam the info as promised, and when contacted again, her phoned was switched off.
On her Facebook page, she wrote: “Please note that my Facebook was hacked and I did not write those words. I have been bombard by messages. PLEASE NOTE I DID NOT WRITE THOSE MESSAGES.”
Meanwhile, researchers from the South African Muslim Network (SAMNET) have retrieved a trove of evidence from Facebook, going back as far as 2016, showing communication that apparently suggests hate for Islam and Muslims.
Al Qalam has seen several posts going back about two years. One post on May 23, 2016, allegedly written by Sangham on her Facebook account, partly reads: “One thing Islam is doing today is causing the Western World to be cowards and fearful. The Western countries need to stand up and speak out against the invasion that is presently going on in Christian countries.
Stand up before it is too late. Look at North Africa for example. The part of Africa that first blessed and embraced Christianity has been defeated by intimidation and threat from Islamists. If the non Muslim countries get afraid today, they will find that within time their children and grandchildren becoming Muslims. Stand up and defeat Islamism.”
In the same post, she wrote: “All the places the disciples preached the gospels are now Islamic countries. Number of US mosques increased by 80% since 2000 as per USA today. As Christians, stand firmly and be bold. Christians fear to die, but Jesus says “Do not fear those who kill the flesh.” He knew they will try to kill us”.
Another more recent post under her name read in part: “prophet muhammed started the increase in slavery. cant people see we are not fighting against race, colour or creed, but good over evil.”
Dr Faisal Suleman, chairperson of SAMNET said that research over the past week has “revealed extensive Islamophobic and hateful posts” by Sangham.
“We have reported this to the SABC’s CEO and Lotus FM station manager, Mr. Alvin Pillay as well as the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), Hate Crimes Working Group (HCWG), Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL).
“Our attorneys are presently formulating criminal and civil charges against Ms. Sangham.
“We appeal to Muslims not to react to her in any way that denigrates our religion but rather to let the law takes its course. What Ms. Sanghams’ posts – and those she has been interacting with – shows is growing trend of Islamophobia, and this is more reason for us to strengthen our advocacy capabilities as well to portray our religion in a way befitting the example set by the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
“We urge people not to threaten violence or react on social media in a way that is contrary to the teachings of our religion”.