By Al Qalam Reporter
Human rights activist, Professor Farid Esack, will be bestowed with the Order of Luthuli (Silver) by President Cyril Ramaphosa this Saturday for “his brilliant contribution to academic research and to the fight against race, gender, class and religious oppression.”
The award ceremony will be held at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House in Pretoria.
Esack currently serves as a professor in the Study of Islam and Head of the Department of Religion Studies at the University of Johannesburg.
BDS-South Africa – on whose board Esack serves as chairperson – was ecstatic at the news, saying “his body of work continues to enlighten generations of fledgling and established academics.”
The Chancellor of National Orders, Dr Cassius Lubisi, said that the orders “are the highest awards that our country bestows on our citizens and eminent foreign nationals who have made a meaningful and significant contribution to the struggle for democracy, human rights, nation-building, justice, and peace and conflict resolution.”
Esack said he will dedicate this award to his late mother and to the brave Palestinians who, on a daily basis resist the theft and illegal occupation of their land with unspeakable courage.”
“Our generation who resisted and overcame Apartheid with the support of activists throughout the world have no option but to live out our debt to the international working class and oppressed communities throughout the world, from Black Lives in the USA, to Kashmir, to the Dalits in India, to the people of Cuba, the Christians in Muslim majority countries, and the Palestinians living under the yoke of Israeli Apartheid.
“Our existing in this world is incidental; to live a fully human life is our choice – and we can only do by being in solidarity with those who live under conditions of oppression and humiliation. Our humanity is measured by our refusal to surrender and our willingness to be combatants in the world for greater justice and equality,” he said.
“The Order of Luthuli,” that Esack will receive, is named after Chief Albert Luthuli – Nobel Peace Prize Winner (1960), former President of the ANC, a father of our nation, and a giant in our country’s struggle for liberation.
The Palestinian call for a boycott of Israel was launched in 2015 and is based on the successful isolation of Apartheid South Africa.