Muslims taking part in campaign

[caption id="attachment_34863" align="alignright" width="250"] BAY PROTEST: Marchers carry posters condemning the Boko Haram kidnapping of more than 200 girls in Nigeria. The marchers walked through the streets of Port Elizabeth to highlight the Bring Back Our Girls campaign. Picture: JUDY DE VEGA[/caption]

IN response to Cedric Human's letter, "SA Muslims quiet" (June 4), in which he decried a lack of outcry by Muslims in South Africa over the kidnapping of the girls in Nigeria, I am not sure how he measures that because even in the march he is referring to, a Muslim sheikh (priest), Mukhtar Raban, was there. He addressed the marchers, explaining the Islamic position on this heinous act of criminality.

Many Muslim organisations nationally have issued press releases condemning the incident and supporting the Bring Back Our Girls campaign.

I spent an hour on national radio station Umhlobo Wenene FM explaining the fact that Boko Haram is also an enemy of Muslims as many Muslims, lay people and religious leaders have been killed by the group in Nigeria. Our local Muslim community radio station featured throughout the week organisers of the march in its programmes.

People like Roland and Shahnaz Williams and Loyiso Saliso were interviewed at length and offered an opportunity to promote the campaign. Even Saturday's programme on the Donkin Reserve was featured prominently by our radio station – two Christian leaders, Pastor John Preller and Bisi Fadeyi-Adecuberu, were invited to talk about the event.

There were almost a dozen Muslims at the march and that must never be read to mean that Muslims are reluctant to support the cause. There are other commitments that people have and those who are able to make it need to be applauded without throwing stones at those who could not make it.

If we start insinuating positions based on attendance at marches, we are not going to take our struggle forward.

For people who wish to know the standpoints of Muslims on various issues, especially in Nelson Mandela Bay, there are institutions of higher learning, offices of Muslim theologians and the various publications available in the Bay. Please don't abrogate for yourself the right to judge Muslims without engaging them.

The Boko Haram campaign has nothing to do with religion and religion is being hijacked to give credence to an anti-religious agenda carried both by Boko Haram and its Western enemies. They are all together in the mission to tarnish the image of Islam.

Please Cedric, do your bit for the girls and never enter the mission of these two forces. In the Bay, we work together, and never judge and count other religious adherents in whatever activity that we are involved in. There is a strong inter-faith movement in this metro and please don't divert us.

Nceba Salamntu, programme manager at IFM community radio station in Nelson Mandela Bay and an imam at Imam Hassan Gila Mosque in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth

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