Statement on Al-Qaeda threat

Wednesday, 09 June 2010 18:32 (E-mail Print)


The World for All Foundation was started by former Western Cape Premier, Ebrahim Rasool, to continue a discourse he started while Premier under the rubric: ‘A Home for All”. Over the last year the World for All Foundation has carried its vision: ‘Towards a World for All – Beyond Extremisms” to many forums across the globe. It is headquartered in Cape Town.

Mr. Rasool said “The World for All Foundation is not surprised that extremists such as those in Al Qaeda would view the FIFA World Cup in South Africa as probably the most enticing platform from which to spread global fear and terror. The presence in South Africa of thousands of soccer fans, media crews and leaders from every sphere, and the fact that every match will be broadcast to every corner of the world, and that there will be unprecedented attention on South Africa, make the Soccer world Cup such an enticing prospect for extremists.

However, having participated in a Conference on Extremism a few months ago in Cape Town, especially in response to alarms being raised about security in the face of terror threats to the World Cup 2010, I am reassured that the intelligence And security agencies are very aware of potential threats, and assured us of their state of readiness to meet any such possibilities. It is unfortunate that we live in a world where we are forced to factor in precautions against extremists of any persuasion who have only threats, fear and terror to peddle.

This specific threat from Al Qaeda-Maghreb to make the world witness the bombing of the stadium in which the US plays the UK, and their delight in making the world witness thousands of people must be condemned unequivocally. There can be no ifs and buts, no justificatory case-building, no equivocation, no equivalence with injustices and wrongs perpetrated elsewhere. The threat by Al-Qaeda-Maghreb itself is an act of terror because it is meant to induce fear and divide people.

It is misguided from whichever standard one measures, especially from an Islamic standard from which they purport to speak and act. Nowhere in the teachings or history of Islam can we draw justification for wanting the kill thousands of innocent people, gathered to watch a sport, in a country that has given Muslims more rights and freedoms than Muslims arguably enjoy anywhere else in the world whether as minority or majority.

This is a moment when Muslim leaders in South Africa must take the lead in condemning the madness of the threat and the possibility of the carnage that would ensue if there was even the possibility of such terrorists carrying out the threat. More emphatically, Muslims must condemn them for even daring to don the garb of Islam to invoke the name of God, and to claim that they sow terror on behalf of all Muslims. We must also appeal to people of all faiths and cultures not to give these prophets of doom a victory by allowing fear and suspicion to emerge between us; we must unite to defeat them. Al Qaeda-Maghreb or any other terrorists must know that they will not be welcome in South Africa, especially not by the Muslims of South Africa.”

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