Militant but Not Violent

written by Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool

“The Call of Islam was an organisation that was militant but not violent; radical but not fundamentalist; and revolutionary but not extreme.” In the nuances of each of these binaries lie the possibility for Muslim organisations across the world who live under occupation, despotism, military rule, extremism and other forms of rule that inhibit their dignity and distort their faith. Such regimes require radical and revolutionary change and need to be confronted militantly. But in the latter parts of these binaries often lie the seeds of the undoing of Muslim organisations; the penchant for violence, fundamentalism and extremism!” Ebrahim Rasool

South Africa is going through a fairly traumatic time. The vacuum in leadership opens the possibility for all kinds of forces to try and occupy the leadership terrain and exploit the space for protest and struggle. As we witness the rise of an iconoclastic protest group -disrupting education, burning art and suggesting a sell out by people like Nelson Mandela — we are reminded by a formulation by Ebrahim Rasool, drawn from lessons from the anti-apartheid struggle. He wrote it in 2014 in the forward to Adli Jacob’s biography of the Call of Islam. It may well be relevant for those engaged in legitimate struggle and protest in South Africa today.

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