Saturday, December 14, 2013

Tributes For Tata - MSA UNION

We, The MSA UNION bid farewell to Nelson Mandela , together with the nation and the world. The messages above , are echoed through the hearts of many. We offer our heartfelt condolences to the Mandela family and pray for the strength to rise up to the task of honouring his legacy.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The death of Former President Mandela and the subliminal looming election banner “Vote ANC, Do it For Mandela”

My Opinion:
Sumayya Omar,
Head of Politics, South Africa and International Affairs
10- 12- 2013

The death of Former President Mandela and the subliminal looming election banner “Vote ANC, Do it For Mandela”

Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why i sleep for the eternity”- Nelson Mandela 

His magically slow, husky and rather entertaining voice which we all try to impersonate will be echoed in eternity. Mabiba shirts will become a worldwide trend, the Madiba dance (of the slow arm movements) will become part of South African Youth moves. History books in the world will be rewritten but most importantly generations will be born and reborn, inebriated with the spirit of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

When mourning the death of former president Nelson Mandela, do not mourn only for his death. Realise through Mandela’s death the other unspoken and forgotten leaders, realise that Mandela was amongst those great leaders who awoke their people for the call of the forward march against white domination. Friends all, mourn the fact that he was the last cadre of his generational leadership who stood in the forefront, regardless of the concrete walls and chains that surrounded him for 27 years. His death signals a closure for those colossal generational leaders and leadership of his time who actively fought against the apartheid regime. 

I have attended many protests in South Africa and especially in Gauteng where majority of the chants of the struggle that are sung at these various protest are hardly ever about Nelson Mandela. After many protest (chants) about Oliver Tambo, Chris Hani, Steve Biko, capitalism, socialism, I had addressed a comrade and questioned why masses hardly sing about Tata. She replied and said that whilst he was the leader of the struggle, he was imprisoned and away. Thus actively on the ground it was leaders like Oliver Tambo, Steve Biko, and Walter Sisulu etc. who continuously joined the ranks of the struggle and fought amongst the masses against the system. Those were the leaders who not only visited and resided in the Bantustans where the system had repressed them but these leaders had addressed the masses and continuously restored hope.

This is why there are more songs sung about them rather than Mandela - but the masses never lost hope in Mandela as they knew that whilst Winnie was leading a militant struggle he would eventually bring freedom, justice and equality.

Tata Mandela is their saviour and hero. A  man who unapologetically, through a negotiated process, had created and led for a condition that would be a South Africa, for the people of South Africa. It was often his ability to listen to the apartheid government with simplistic demand that the way forward, would be a peaceful, democratic and cohesive transition; which crushed the buffer zones and barriers between the reality of the blacks, the reality of whites and the reality of the world on South Africa.  It was his functional words and actions that made us humans realise that you and I, black man and white man can live together.

Apartheid has made us conscious about our physical appearance and colour but for all of us we cannot deny that we have come into a warm and embracing South Africa regardless of our social ills. People expected many things after apartheid, the expectation of eradication of inequality of class, race, and gender. Worryingly somehow South Africa is experiencing a deficit in ‘unity of leadership and purpose’. For one, we cannot say that we don’t inculcate unity of leadership and purpose because we are still a learning infant democracy.

Today is the fourth day of the 10 days mourning period of Comrade Nelson Mandela as well as the official mourning day. Our comrades are on the streets mourning the death of Nelson Mandela, reminiscing the days Madiba stood up on those same streets advocating for freedom, justice and equality. There are others who have written articles and made statements about his death; in doing so highlighting his symbolic meaning, creating the perfect picture and colouring the faultless description of Mandela by the tributes and actions they are paying to him.

In my view, what more can be said about Nelson Mandela? No man, no country, nor any statesmen can tell you about your leader. We have all met Mandela, because we are living in a country that he has fought for and perceived through his eyes the dreams and vision of South Africa that is in peace with itself. No individualistic view about Tata is more important than yours because we have all subjectively experienced and related to Tata to our own selves! But collectively those views are ample enough to write a biography of Mandela by all peoples of the world who have been touched by him, which is to be archived in all libraries of the world- serving as the engine for his legacy to be echoed in eternity.

In 1993 the world and South Africa bided farewell to two great men of the struggle. The first being a man which Nelson Mandela referred to as one of the greatest ‘giants’ who walked the globe, a globe inherited with hatred that is learned from both World Wars and the Cold War and continuation of minority rule over a majority people, regardless of entering a new era of human security. That year we said: “Hamba Kahle People’s Leader” in which Nelson Mandela delivered a speech at Comrade Oliver Reginald Tambo’s (1917-1993) funeral. Mandela said: “We say he has departed. But can we allow him to depart while we live!”  So peoples of the world, I ask you , can we allow Tata to depart the soil of this earth as well as the heart of ourselves until the ideals of a peaceful, just, transparent and equal South Africa, Africa, Palestine and the World is realised?

The other great man of the struggle, the revolutionary and internationalist commander, who was assassinated in 1993, was comrade Chris Hani. At his funeral Mandela said:” The struggle is far from over. You are our soldiers of peace, our army for the elections that will transform this country. Go back to your homes, your regions, and organise as never before. Together, we are invincible. That is how we will pay the greatest tribute we can to Chris Hani freedom in South Africa. Let Chris Hani live on through all of us”.  Thus being dubbed by Mandela as the armies of South Africa with a transformative nature and it being less than five months until the 5th General Elections; have we transformed South Africa along the lines of ‘development as freedom’, not only employing our political freedoms or ensuring political equality of the notion ‘one man, one vote’ but rather as armies have we strived towards socioeconomic freedoms? Championing the issues of the working class movement and fighting for development of the underdeveloped?

In 2003 again the world and South Africa bided farewell to one of the dedicated anti-apartheid leaders, comrade Walter Sisulu. At Walter Sisulu’s funeral, Nelson Mandela described him as the “spear of the nation”. He said: “The spear of the nation has fallen... let us pick up the spear, to build a country after the example that Walter Sisulu has set for us.” This year Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe delivered a memorial lecture on the life of Walter Sisulu at the University of South Africa, in May. He highlighted the strides of Walter Sisulu in advocating for education throughout the struggle speared through the platform of the South African Student Congress. Comrade Motlanthe said:” He knew that education was not only the means to rise in the world but one of the most potent weapons in the struggle for equality”. So peoples of the world, I ask you, how much have we dedicated to educate the poor, marginalised and under-privileged to create an equal society? We cannot bid farewell to Walter Sisulu because we are far from reaching equilibrium in education for all. 

10 years later, on the 05 of December 2013, we have begun to bid farewell to a Nelson Mandela.  A man who openly criticised and condemned presidents for their employment of violence to bring a peaceful solution, yet these statesmen will be attending his Funeral i.e. Former President George Bush.

Whilst leadership cannot be concretely defined as containing specific traits, values and skills, good leadership is dependent on the social, political and economic context of the time and goals of a collective rather than the leader himself. For Mandela it was realising the pleading of his people as a leader (before and during imprisonment) through his comprehensive speech and patience, the ideal of a South Africa for all as a non-racist and non-sexist society and the goal to destroy the apartheid regime.

Nevertheless South Africa is alive as a rainbow nation because Mandela along with the generational leaders and founders of the ANCYL had surrendered and dedicated their life to human solidarity, reconciliation and truth. We are alive because it was comrade Mandela who had not incited revenge on the white people of South Africa – he preached that we should hate the system rather than hating on colour.

So in 2013, a year before we collectively reach 20 years of democracy – the body of Nelson Mandela has died but his legacy and spirit lives on. I, for one, am concerned about our President Jacob Zuma’s speech at his Funeral. President Zuma (being only the second president after Nelson Mandela) under his leadership in a democratic has had the highest corruption levels, controversies i.e. State information Bill/ E-toll law and is slowly ensuring a decline in public confidence in the ANC.

In addition, bringing in an awkward twist to the solemn mood, we question already if he would have the audacity during the run up of the next election to deploy the idea that his cadres should encourage voters to vote for the ANC under the banner” Vote ANC, Do it for Mandela”.

Frantz Fanon concludes the leadership of today: “During the struggle for liberation the leader awakened the people and promised them a forward march, heroic and unmitigated. Today, he uses every means to put them to sleep, and three or four times a year asks them to remember the colonial period and to look back on the long way they have come since then”

It would suffice to say that Nelson Mandela’s life was led for us to learn from, he led by an example. In 1999 he didn’t run for a second term in office, this is an example for African leaders that tyranny cannot be bestowed upon the country and her countrymen after the struggle of independence has been accomplished.  

South Africans once again will need time to reconcile, face the truth and justly mourn their Former President’s Death. Being servants to the cause of justice, freedom and equality- we have a duty to realise that if we cannot learn from Mandela, or respect the past then how will we be able to build a South Africa which our historic leaders have fought for?

We cannot create another Mandela but what we can do is draw from his strengths and critically identify his weaknesses to create “transformative leadership” that will eventually ensure, for example, unity of purpose. We must acknowledge the turning point and the greatest teaching of Mandela is that he brought blacks and whites on the same foothold.  For the ANC, Nelson Mandela’s death should be the reason for introspection and a catharsis. It should serve as a subliminal message that democracy and the South Africa that Mandela envisioned is slipping under their personality based leadership and internal political feuds.
OPINION PIECE BY Sumayya Omar : MSA UNION Head of Politics, South African & International Affairs

Friday, December 6, 2013

STATEMENT: Union of Muslim Students' Association remembers and honours Nelson Mandela

6 December 2013
The Union of Muslim Students’ Association would like to express extreme sadness at the passing away of anti apartheid stalwart and Former President Mr Nelson Mandela, who passed away last night, 5 December 2013, at the age of 95. Nelson Mandela, a beloved leader of our nation, was a global icon of the struggle for freedom and compassionate leadership, and his passing is indeed a great loss to South Africa and the world. The MSA sends its condolences to the Mandela family during this difficult period, and to our nation as a whole.
Nelson Mandela, also known as Tata Madiba, stood firmly against injustice and oppression and sacrificed 27 years of his life in prison with other struggle heroes and freedom fighters. His commitment to the ideals of freedom and justice extended beyond South Africa’s liberation from the oppressive apartheid regime as he continued to dedicate his life towards humanity and humanitarian causes post-1994. The legacy he leaves behind is one of reconciliation, struggle and hope, which will undoubtedly echo through the generations to continue to inspire South Africans to contribute to building a nation that lives true to his legacy.
Mandela’s persistent struggle for freedom earned him the world’s respect, yet his humility, compassion and humanity earned him the world’s love. A person of Madiba’s stature and the immense dignity with which he led and conducted all his affairs is a scarcity, and we are a generation fortunate enough to witness the possibility that we can truly live united and tolerant of others. To dedicate a life in the service of humanity is an inherently Islamic concept that we have a responsibility and duty to carry out.
We are truly and wholeheartedly grateful to Madiba for his role in enabling us to have religious freedom to live and prosper as Muslims, amidst a host of other things, in this country, and we pray that future leaders will strive to embody the same compassion and vision for which Mandela had strove.
In the words of Thabo Mbeki, Mandela's passing should remind us to commit ourselves selflessly to address the many challenges we face in today’s times."President Mandela and his generation discovered the mission of their generation. They were at all times faithful to it, as a result of which they fulfilled it.
Let us continue to remember the legacy of Nelson Mandela and the ideals he stood for, and let us continue to commit to striving towards our collective ideals for a better South Africa and a better world. Today we honour, appreciate and remember Nelson Mandela.
“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.” ― Nelson Mandela
Issued by Union of Muslim Students’ Associations
For more information, contact:
Yusuf Talia, President of Union of Muslim Students’ Associations,, 071 677 2391
Khadeeja Manjra, Vice President of Union of Muslim Students’ Associations,, 071 351 2094 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Al Ihsaan Top 5 Finalists Profiles

The annual Al Ihsaan Award is presented by the MSA Union, and aimed at acknowledging excellence in all aspects of life and to recognize work being done by Muslim youth. The award is intended to inspire more youth to become active citizens in society, thus, increasing social awareness. Candidates must have shown a significant impact in making a difference in the community and society at large, and were evaluated on various levels including Tarbiyyah, leadership, academics and humanitarian involvement as well their inspiration to others. About 2 months ago, MSA Union opened nominations and asked people if they knew someone who inspires them, takes leadership in the community and is a great role model to others. Below are the profiles of the top 5 finalists who were shortlisted for the award (in no particular order). The winner of this year's Al Ihsaan Award is Sizwe Mpofu Walsh. We congratulate Sizwe on this achievement, and we pray that Allah blesses each of our finalists in all their endeavours, blesses them with the best in both worlds, and rewards them for their immense efforts, Ameen. May you always be inspired, and inspire!
Ismail Amla

Ismail is currently in the process of completing a Master’s degree in mechanical engineering, focusing on motorsport applications, at WITS University. He was drawn towards the field of engineering as he felt it gave him a platform to add value to society by improving the lives of fellow South Africans whilst working in a discipline which had held his interest from a young age. He enjoys spending his time as a tutor and occasional lecturer to first year students, sharing his passion for engineering with them. He is also the manager of the university Musallah and the treasurer of the MSA, in addition to his academic pursuits.

Ismail grew up in Lenasia and completed his schooling career at Lenasia Muslim School. From early on, he had to learn to overcome many challenges . Being diagnosed with epilepsy, severe asthma and alopecia at the age of four meant he had to manage many serious health issues along with the social stigma that is sometimes accompanied by illness. Through reflection, he came to understand that these difficulties were sent from Allah and that Allah does not burden any soul more than he can bear. This has only helped him to become more motivated to fulfill his role as a servant of Allah. 
His message to the Muslim youth is to work your hardest to complete any task you're faced with in the best manner that you can, no matter how small and insignificant the task may be . When faced with a situation which is unfamiliar, you will lose nothing by simply asking for help, but you can definitely gain a great deal! Often you learn the most from people and places where you never expected to learn anything at all.  Never give up trying . And most importantly ask Allah for guidance and assistance in all your affairs.

Muhammad Zakaria Suleman

"Muhammad Zakaria Suleman graduated with an LLB from the University of KwaZulu Natal and is currently a legal researcher at SECTION27. His primary focus of research is access to health care services, disability rights and children's rights.

He is a member of the Golden key Honours Society, and currently serves as Fellow and Honourary Executive member of the Students for Law and Social Justice National Committee. He has presented his research internationally and focuses his interests locally.

Using the realities of the day, he escapes his nights into poetry. Creating worlds that could exist had we taken the time out to ponder over the true potential we have.

When we believe in our dreams; When we realise that we are the only ones that can see them; visualise them; and articulate them. It is only then can we translate them to others. Once we translate them, it is then through dialogue that inevitable change occurs."

Basheera Surty
I am an Occupational Therapist by profession.  I work with children doing hands-on therapy and programme development but I am also currently creating a project on inclusive education, which I am very excited about.  This project involves developing a programme that enables and provides opportunities to children with disabilities in rural communities to participate in play groups.  Opportunities like this one, is not only the basic human right of a child but also contributes to breaking the cycle of poverty in a community.  Children with disabilities will be given equal access to opportunities such as learning through play and they will therefore be more successful in school and in the long term this individual will have a greater chance at getting job and be able to contribute to building a healthier society and an integrated community.

When I am not working, I enjoy travelling, attending halqahs and other interesting talks on religion and spirituality but mostly, I’m happiest when I’m hanging out with my family and friends.  I treasure them because I know without their inspiration and support; I wouldn’t have enough faith to follow my dreams.  I also love being outdoors in the sun and running! 

Since last year, after I returned from a visit to Gaza on a project for youth called Games to Gaza, I began running marathons with the Palestinian flag advocating for the Freedom of Palestine.  I’ve also expanded on this by running for different causes such as ‘running against women and child abuse’.  I do believe in all people having the potential to do incredible things and so I am part of a Mentorship programme to assist youth from underprivileged backgrounds to realize, visualize and live their dreams. 
Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh (Winner of Al Ihsaan Award 2013)

Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh graduated in 2012 with an Honours degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from UCT. In 2013, he will read for the Mphil in International Relations at the University of Oxford as a recipient of the First Rand Laurie Dipennaar Scholarship. He served as the president of the UCT Students’ Representative Council (SRC) in 2010 and received the Vice Chancellor’s Award for “outstanding contribution to the University”. 

He interned in the office of the late Congressman Donald M. Payne on the South Africa-Washington internship programme in 2011. In 2013, he was selected as one of the Mail and Guardian’s top 200 young South Africans. He is cofounder of Grow2Lead, a youth leadership training company established in 2008 which has rolled out programs to over 6000 young South Africans, released a hip-hop album in 2006 that was nominated for a KORA All-African music Award, and is a founding member of InkuluFreeHeid: a youth led social movement created to deepen South African democracy.

Zaakir Ahmed Mayet

My name is Zaakir Ahmed Mayet, residing in Johannesburg and I have completed my LLB at the University of Witwatersrand. I am currently completing my articles of clerkship. I am the Chairman of the NPO – Media Review Network which aims to dispel myths surrounding Islam , combat Islamophobia in the media as well as defend other causes of justice. It truly is a humbling experience to have been nominated for such a prestigious award.

 However, this award is not about an individual but rather how we, the Youth as a collective can address the issues facing the Ummah. The Muslim world is being torn apart by foreign occupations and internal strife. As our mothers become widows, our children become orphans and our brothers become martyrs, the obligations on the Youth to defend the Deen, our brethren and to become a source of leadership has never been greater. Our greatest strength lies in our ability to Unite, set aside all differences and rally behind our Declaration of Faith. As Youth, we are compelled to seek Justice, be it in combating poverty, ending wars and occupation, freeing our brethren in unlawful captivity or enriching the moral fabric of society. All our answers can be found in the Holy Quraan and the example set by our beloved Prophet Mohammed SAW which serve as guiding stars in these troubled and turbulent times. May we as the Youth always be guided by the principles of Truth, Justice and Unity and may the Almighty accept all our efforts Insha Allah.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Solidarity Day

-    In Solidarity and Remembrance of  those who are conflicted and oppressed around the World.

  •  More recently the Israeli Knesset has passed a controversial bill which is called the Pawner Plan Law which is planned to displace tens of thousands Bedouin citizens in Negev. When implemented it will result to the second largest ethnic cleansing of the Arab Bedouins since 1948.
  •  11th of July 2013, a 5 year old Palestinian Boy was detained by Israeli forces for throwing a stone. The Rules of Israel’s Military Occupation in the West bank state that the age of responsibility starts at 12 and apparently applies to both Israeli and Palestinian Children. The injustice continues even for the children of Palestine
  •  Peace talks are due to resume for the first time in nearly three years after intense US mediation through US Secretary of State John Kerry , with Israel and Palestinian Official As Israel has agreed to release prisoners
  • In July 2013 the European Union Collectively agreed to Stop EU funding to the illegal occupied territories of Israel due to Israel continuous expansion of settlements
  • spokesman for Lady Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief: “Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and with the non-recognition by the EU of Israel’s sovereignty over the occupied territories”
-          Like South Africa , The EU has adopted the  legislation relevant for the correct labelling of settlement products  from the illegal occupied territories.


  •  The Rohingya people are an ethnic minority in Myanmar was have been persecuted by the Buddhist Majority government
  •  They are labelled illegal immigrants from Bangladesh,
  •  Since 1978 Military operations have been conducted against them- forcing them to flee to Bangladesh with no hopes on return as well as rape, mass killing
  • The United Nations has described the Rohingyans as the Most Persecuted Minority in the world
  • They are denied citizenship, access to education, healthcare, require permission to marry, have their reproductive rights restricted and are subject to numerous abuses such as forced labour.
  • In June 2012 a Buddhist women was alleged to be raped and Murdered by Rohingyans which led to the subsequent violence and clashes between Buddhist Rakhines and Rohingyans
  •  Myanmar's President Thein Sein says refugee camps or deportation is the "solution"
  • In July 2012 , protect the Rohingya group started to create awareness and begin a dialogue on the plight of the Rohingyans
  • This [Rohingya persecution] is truly systemic. It's part of Myanmar's legal and social system to discriminate against the Rohingya on the basis of their ethnicity … all the facets of life are affected by a system that codifies and makes lawful their persecution and discrimination." Benjamin Zawacki, a Myanmar researcher for Amnesty International


  •    In July 2012 the international Red Cross dubbed the violence in Syria as civil war, Between the Free Syrian Army and the Bashar Al Assad Government forces
  •   In March 2013 the United Nations reported that there are over one Million Syrian refugees , half of them being children
  •  According to the United nations after 27 months of conflict, at the end of April reported the death toll to be around 93 000
  •  The United Nations estimates that the conflict claims as many as 5,000 lives per month, nearly 1 in 3 Syrians are refugees or displaced inside the country, and there are 6.8 million Syrians in need of urgent assistance.
  •  According to the Observatory which monitors violence through the network of security and medical sources report  over 100 000 deaths, 10 000 have been detained by pro-Assad’s forces and 2500 Assad military men have been captured by the Free Syrian Army (“ rebels)
  •  The conflict in Syria has led to insecurities and sectarian tension in other states such as Lebanon and Iraq
Syria is part of that mubarak land (Shaam) for which Nabi SallAllahu 'Alayhi Wasallam made the Du'aa: Allahumma Baariklana fi Yamanina wa fi Shaamina (Oh Allah bless our Yemen and our Shaam). Someone asked: "and our Najd Ya Rasoolullah SallAllahu 'Alayhi Wasallam. To which Nabi Sallalahu 'Alayhi Wasallam repeated the Du'aa for Yemen and Shaam and the person asked again for Du'aa to be made for Najd but the Prophet SallAllahu 'Alayhi Wasallam repeated the Du'aa for Yemen and Shaam only and on around the third time the person asked for Du'aa for Najd the Prophet SallAllahu 'Alayhi Wasallam said that Najd is a place of fitna from where the horn/era of shaytan will emerge. (Bukhari Sharif)

Historically many false claimants to prophethood came from Najd such as musaylama bin kadhab, etc. Ibn Abdul Wahab Najdi (founder of Wahabism) and the Saudi dynasty are also from the Najd province which is East of Madinah. Madinah and Makkah are in al-Hijaz province. The point being that Syria which constitutes a large part of Shaam is blessed.

Please post the following under Syria on the blog:
Gift of the Givers has a hospital in Syria and they are sending food to Syrians in Syria and Syrian refugees in Yemen. People can deposit into their International Projects account and put the deposit reference as "Syria Lillah" or "Syria Zakaah". Then email them the proof of payment specifying where the money should go to: hospital, feeding in Syria or feeding Syrian refugees in Yemen. Their International Projects account is:
 ACCOUNT NAME:Gift of the Givers Foundation
BANK:Standard Bank
BRANCH:Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
They also make provision for Online Transfers:

Main contributors to the Economy: agriculture, saffron , horticulture, manufacturing sector, and tourism
  •         Population  : estimated 10 Million people 
  •         Estimated Killing 91 865
  •         Women raped 9708
  •         10 000 civilians are missing

-        Jammu and Kashmir
-        Valley located in the Himalayas – Known as the Paradise of Earth
  •  Since 1947( August) after the Indian Subcontinent gain independence from British Rule , both India and Pakistan have engaged in an ongoing and unresolved conflict over Kashmir ( over 6 decades
  • It is under Indian control but Muslim majority population , with about 4% of Hindus which reside in Kashmir
  •  Over 40 000 civilians have been killed since 1989
  •  Average one Indian Solider to 10 Kashmirie
  •   India administrates Jammu and Kashmi
  •  Pakistan administrates territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit- Batistan

-        Since 1947 over 3 wars have been fought between India and Pakistan of Kashmir
-        Above all Kashmir is now demanding for their independence, sovereignty and self-termination. Apart from both India and Pakistan 
-       Kashmir is a Muslim Majority dominated by Indian control over Police and Parliament
-        Pakistan disputes India’s control over Kashmir
-        Pakistani forces which media dubs them as rebels have been fighting Indian Forces since 1989 in Kashmir
o   Either for independence of Kashmir or for Kashmir to be merged to Pakistan
What has happened in Kashmir Recently?
  •  A Parliamentary raid took place on an Islamic school (Madressa) in search for militants.This lead to widespread protest especially by residents of the Good district in Kashmir, resulting in police killing four protestors.They gathered outside base of the border security forces in Gool which is 230KM south of Srinagar( Summer capital of Kashmir- Indian control primarily dominated here)
  • Pakistanis gathered to about 400 protestors who took the streets if Muzaffarabad (Capital of Pakistan). They marched to the United Nations office to hand them an memorandum/letter seeking for international intervention to protect the human rights in Kashmir

 History of Kashmir
-        In 1947 after independence from British rule
-        The Maharaja  Singh of Kashmir signed an interim standstill agreement to maintain transport and other services with Pakistan
-        By October 1947, conflict heightened and the Maharaja Singh has appealed to India for military assistance
-        Thus the Indian Governor General: Lord Mountbatten suggested that the best way to instil peace is if Kashmir falls under India’s Dominion for a temporary basis. This was known as the Instrument of Accession and resulted in India taking 2/3 of the territory, Pakistan taking the Northern reminder and China occupying the eastern parts of Kashmir and Jammu
-        What is the instrument of accession ?
o   Granting of Indian jurisdiction on external affairs and defence
o   This lead to Indian claiming ownership of the entire state of Kashmir-
o    only 1/3 of terrotority was administrated by Pakistan
-        According to India the Instrument of Accession of Kashmir to India was finalised then and thus Kashmir is theirs, contrary to that Pakistan believe Kashmir is a disputed territory and are demanding for self-determination of Kashmir
-        December 20 1948- the United Nations Commission proposed that Kashmir’s future is to be decided by the will of the people of Kashmir- THIS NEVER HAPPENED
-        After 1989:  end of soviet occupation in Afghanistan> lead to the apparent militarization of Kashmir and allegedly Kashmir became a training ground.
o   Indian gave the army increased authority to end the insurgency under the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Acts
-        Since 1989 on going  conflict have been going on which deaths, casualties , kidnappings etc. have been escalating
-        In 2001 , Pakistani General Musharraff and Indian Prime Minister had met over a 3 day peace summit and failed to produce a joint statement on Kashmir
-        In 2003 the Prime Minister of India, Atal Behari , offers ‘ Hand of Friendship’ to Pakistan which by November 26 they implemented a Pakistani proposed ceasefire- No change in the situation
-        Pakistan cities many UN resolution that favours a UN-run referendum but Indian argues the Simla  agreement of 1972 binds both Pakistan and India to solve the problem of Kashmir on a state to state basis
o   The Simla agreement formalises the Line of Control – yet it didn’t prevent any further clashes i.e. 1999 on the Siachen Glacier
-        After the recent incident in Kashmir, both Indian and Pakistani officials meet again to try and resolve the situation in Kashmir
                 Another struggle for Land, Another fight for justice!!
  • Stand for All Muslims
  • Educate people around you on the situation, whether its in Palestine,Burma or Kashmir

Some Ideas on What Can You Do?
  •         Encourage your local MSA to have Seminars, debates and more events to educate students on local affairs
  •        Create posters, pamphlets etc. on war torn countries and circulate it in order to raise awareness and educate others
  •       Volunteer at organisations in assisting them in making a difference
  •       For Palestine : Boycott Divestment and Sanction  – Muhammed Desai :  084 211988
  •        For Rohingya : Protect the Rohingya - David Kamer: 0734922304
  •     Get  creative !! write poems, articles and essays and be featured on MSA UNION's blog

-          Move beyond principally acknowledging a crisis and become actively involved in creating awareness !! INFOGRAPHIC DONE BY : Saffiyah Patel - MSA UNION Head of Media and Marketing 
     ARTICLE BY: Sumayya Omar - MSA UNION Head of Politics and

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Introducing The Humanitarian Project

The Union of Muslim Students' Association (MSA Union of South Africa) takes great pleasure in announcing the National Flagship Project for 2013 - The Humanitarian Project. This initiative follows the Ramadan Humanitarian project & Project IQra. MSA takes the view that we should make a sustainable contribution towards underprivileged communities in South Africa. We should strive as a society to empower people and overcome poverty. We also aim to create mass student involvement on our campuses. 

About The Humanitarian Project:
The Humanitarian Project is MSA’s flagship project. A flagship project aims to fulfil the following objectives:
- Student involvement on a mass scale
- To fulfil a social need
- To encourage social development and eradicate social apathy
- To be and replicable across campuses for years
- To be edgy and address current needs and hypes

The South African National ZAKAH Fund (SANZAF) is an affiliate of this project.

In this year’s flagship project MSAs will conduct a second hand clothing collection across South African campuses and communities which will be given to identified underprivileged people to enable and empower them to start their own businesses. Collection boxes will be placed strategically around the country so as many people as possible may contribute to the project. The recipients of the second hand clothing will be people identified by SANZAF, who will also liaise with the recognised recipients. The recipients will receive training and support by SANZAF, which will ensure continuity and success of the project.
Additionally, a second phase will be incorporated. The sustainability phase consists of a fruit tree planting in areas identified by SANZAF.
After the clothes are collected, it will be washed, sorted and packed by students on campus as part of the core idea of mass student involvement. This phase requires sponsorship in terms of washing materials and utensils that will need to be distributed to campuses countrywide.

This project is envisioned upon an eradication of social apathy, replacing it with social development. It goes far beyond the realms of charity work, in that we aim to empower underprivileged people with the opportunity to start businesses of their own. This project is centered by revolutionary ideals and social progression and is a step in the right direction. Your sponsorship and donations will be much appreciated.

The project will be rolled out by 13 MSA chapters across South Africa in campuses in Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal and the western cape by a team of dedicated individuals. MSA Union has appointed Nasira Bhamjee to head this groundbreaking initiative. 

For more information please visit , like our Facebook page 'The Humanitarian Project' or follow @MSA_Union on twitter.

Contact details : Nasira Bhamjee (Project Manager) on 0766861687 or email :

Statement issued by Yusuf Talia, President of the MSA Union of South Africa
Yusuf Talia: / 071-677-2391

Friday, July 26, 2013


The Prophet S.A.W prayed: “O Allah! I invoke You for Your promise (of victory). O Allah! If You decide (that we be defeated), You will not be worshipped!” And His Lord answered:
 "…Indeed, I will reinforce you with a thousand from the angels, rank after rank.” Surah Anfal, Ayah 9

Today marks the one thousand four hundred and thirty second anniversary of the battle of Badr. This battle fought on the 17th of Ramadhaan in the second year after the Hijrah to Medinah, being the first military engaged in Islam, is a testament to the superiority of Truth over falsehood. The superiority of the Light of Islam over all other systems.

The Union of Muslim student associations commemorates, in humble gratitude and deepest admiration, the spirit and actions of bravery, selflessness, great personal sacrifice displayed by the Holy Prophet S.A.W and his noble companions on this day and indeed many other such days.

This is a day of victory and is a source of great pride in our history as the Ummah of Muhammed S.A.W.  It is a day in whose memory we should draw strength from despite the great challenges that surround us.  It is a reminder that just as the help of Allah S.W.T descended on the Ummah in one of its most difficult moments, the help of Allah is always near for us too and we should not despair no matter how insurmountable the obstacles that we face may seem.

We commemorate the martyrs: Harithah ibn Suraqa,Dhu'sh-shimilayn ibn 'Abd 'Amr ,Rafi' ibn al-Mu'alli ,Sa'd ibn Khaythama ,Safwan ibn Wahb ,Aqil ibn al-Bukayr ,Ubaydah ibn al-Harith ,Umayr ibn al-Humam ,Umayr ibn Abi Waqqas, Awf ibn al-Harith ,Mubash-shir ibn 'Abdu'l Mundhir ,Mu'awwidh ibn al-Harith , Mihja' ibn Salih  and Yazid ibn al-Harith ibn Fushum Radiyallahu Anhum who made the ultimate sacrifice on this day in defence of Islam so that the Deen of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’alaah would reach us and the entire human family, Insha-Allah. Indeed, we have no doubt as to the position that they enjoy as promised by their Lord:

 “Think not of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead. Nay, they live finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord.” Surah Al Imran, Ayah 169

We pray that Muslims the world over will remember this day as a day of great victory and bring forth their faith and trust in Allah just as the Sahabah did this day to work towards the higher goals of Islam for the benefit of humanity, Insha-Allah.

On behalf of a very grateful Ummah
The Muslim Students Association

Friday, July 12, 2013

Why Israel? – A combat kit to defeat Zionist propaganda on campus!

The impressive list of people praising this book at its beginning is most certainly not just a flattering array with no substance. It bears testament to the brilliance, as well as impeccable timing, of the publication of a book such as Why Israel? Reading through the comments made by the likes such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Ahmed Kathrada it feels as if anything I will have to say about Why Israel? will appear inadequate or redundant.

However, I can give a review of this book from a different perspective; from the view of not only a young adult but a student. Trying to balance your studies as well as staying informed about the various global conflicts is not an easy task. It is easy to fall into the abyss of ignorance and I have personally witnessed this with so many of my colleagues. And this is why this book is imperative for every single student interested in basic human rights and the Israeli-Palestinian issue at large to have.

The way Why Israel? has been set up and presented makes it the number one tool for all students in combating the myths regarding the Middle-Eastern conflict. We are victims of many misconceptions fed to us via the mainstream media and if one did not look for another source of information it would be convenient to accept these lies as truths. With Why Israel?, each of these misrepresentations are broken down in a comprehensive, yet user-friendly, manner. The index at the beginning makes it beyond easy for you to find out about any subject you are interested in, starting with the origins of the conflict and progressing through the intricate history until present day. It offers you a truthful, yet at the same time unbiased approach to flames fuelling the conflict as well as what has kept the racist ideology of Zionism alive until today, in the 21st century.

Having only had the book for a very short period of time, it has already served me tremendously in my quest of combating the age old foundations used to justify the implementation of Zionism in Israel today. It has also clarified details regarding the various resistance movements established by the Palestinians over the years, and offered a clear plan for the way forward to peace in a very troubled region.

Excellent content aside, it is the presentation of this book that most impressed me. When reading books regarding the conflict one usually has to wade through thousands of pages of information in the smallest of fonts. Undoubtedly the information in invaluable, however, Why Israel? has managed to accomplish the compilation of all the vital details in a font and presentation that would appeal to the masses, particularly the youth. Its full colour 16 page photo insert is also a striking feature, and together with the hard cover and glossy pages I felt as if I had hit the jackpot getting a book such as this one for such a ridiculously reasonable price.
Whether it be needing to brush up on my knowledge regarding the conflict for a debate or workshop, or using it as a resource to write my next piece exposing the lies of Zionism, I know that I have found my essential first aid kit in combating the Hasbara.

From the moment I had my copy of Why Israel?, it was clearly evident the amount of work and countless hours put into its production, for which I commend the authors Dr Firoz Osamn and Suraya Dadoo. Why Israel? is not only for the established political commentators amongst us but well suited for people of all ages, particularly the youth.

Aayesha Soni is a fifth year medical student with a keen interest in Islam, politics and the global perception of international conflicts.

Why Israel? The Anatomy of Zionist Apartheid – A South African Perspective (Porcupine Press, 2013) is available at all bookstores countrywide. E-book and Kindle versions are also available.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Statement : Union of Muslim Students’ Associations’ of South Africa support the call to Action against the US Foreign Policy and Rejection of Obama Visit to South Africa

27 June 2013
We as the Union of Muslim Students’ Associations’ of South Africa would like to reaffirm our utmost rejection of the criminal visit of the United States of America (USA) President, Barack Obama to our country. We declare our support for stance taken by the Muslim Lawyers Association (MLA) and the efforts of our compatriots in the coalition, standing firm in rejecting Obama’s Visit to South Africa and against the decision taken by the University of Johannesburg to award an Honorary Degree to the President of the USA.

The award of an Honorary Degree is done by the resolution of the Council and of Senate of an institution of higher learning on the grounds of his or her distinguished contribution to learning or by resolution of the Council on any other grounds noting that the contribution of the person in question is not viewed in isolation but is assessed in a holistic context. We fail to understand how the USA's arrogant, selfish and oppressive foreign policies, continuous unfair treatment of workers, international trade relations deeply rooted in war mongering, colonial racism and the disregard and destruction of the environment and incapacity in making the realization of a just and peaceful world possible are sufficient basis to even ‘honour’ the President of the USA, Barack Obama.

In the words of the Freedom Charter of South Africa, “our people have been robbed of their birth right to land, liberty and peace by a form of government founded on injustice and inequality”. As South African youth, after 19 years of democracy, can attest that we have still not healed from the wounds of the oppressive apartheid regime.

We find it ludicrous that the main cheerleader of a regime led by the Israeli government, which unequivocally resembles the social, political and economic construct of the South African apartheid regime that has raped the inhabitants of this land from actualizing their true potential is being ‘honoured’ for his distinguished contribution to the progressive development of society.

We find the continued support by the Obama administration of the USA, to Israel and its apartheid policies, enough bases to disqualify Barack Obama from being acknowledged with an Honorary Degree by any South African public institution of higher learning.

As a representative of the youth intelligentsia of this country, we find the contradictions between what is universally understood as a fair basis to award an Honorary Degree to the track record of the USA President, Barack Obama an insult to our intelligence for the following reasons:
• The championing and maintenance, by the USA, in the militarisation of international relations and co-operation. It is a well-known fact that the USA approaches a lot of conflicts on the world through inciting, encouraging as well and championing war, primarily driven by its business interests often masqueraded in the language of defence of human rights.
• The continued greed in the guzzling of world resources by the USA epitomized by its encouragement and support of its multinational companies that have no regard for the environment, human rights like progressive labour laws.
• The USA’s active support and defence of colonial and oppressive regimes.
• The United States of America role in contributing to the destruction of the environment, as being the single largest contributor to global warming, which increasingly condemns the world into catastrophic environmental disasters.

Often accused of acting from an intellectually baseless standpoint, we would like to humbly request that the Chair of the University of Johannesburg Honorary Degree Committee and the Vice Chancellor to assist us in understanding the terms fair, holistic and precedent because using these terms, our conclusion of the decision by the University of Johannesburg to award the USA President, Barack Obama with an Honorary Degree:
• Has undermined the value of a South African Honorary Degree.
• Is setting a dangerous precedent which other public institutions of higher learning might pursue in future, further undermining the value of a South African Honorary Degree.
• Is an insult to all South Africans by ‘honouring’ the main cheerleader of a regime which has been described as a replication of apartheid South Africa?
Furthermore, as a representative of the youth intelligentsia of this country, we reaffirm the stance of South African Communist Party (SACP), the Young Communist League of South Africa (YCL), the South African Students Congress (SASCO),the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU), the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), Friend of Cuba Society (FOCUS), Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel in South Africa (BDS South African), and the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU).

We Call Upon All Peace and Justice Loving citizens to take the streets in Action against The United States Foreign Policy, and Against University of Johannesburg Decision to award Obama an Honorary Doctorate at an” Appropriate Occasion”.

We reaffirm the demands issued the Coalition:
• The Immediate Release of Our Friends of Cuba
• The Immediate Closure of Guantanamo Bay and the Release of the Innocent
• The Immediate Withdrawal of Support to Morocco who continue to colonise Western Sahara
• The Withdraw of AFRICOM
• Cease US/NATO warmongering in Syria and elsewhere
• Close GITMO
• Respect Privacy of Networking. Stop Snooping!

Lastly, the Union of Muslim Students’ Association of South Africa urge our compatriots in the coalition and broader civil society to raise our issues and stress that our National Government are to hear and understand our demands, in order for them to pressure the United States to honour our demands. In the main, the peoples of South Africa through the efforts of solidarity and the struggle for self-determination and the right to live freely and justly, has championed the liberation movement.

We see it fit that South Africa as an Emerging Power, An Ambassador for Africa and a Key Role Player in the South, who undeniably has also been negatively affected and limited in its action by the foreign policies of imperial powers. Nonetheless as a leadership of developing world, our National Government must play more of active role in championing the representation of demands and further ensuring their demands for the people of the Africa, Middle East and Latin America. If South Africa can champion that, then South Africa will be recognised as the true leader of the South.

In the name of Justice, Freedom and Equality; we must stand for the entire world and her people against imperialism and oppression, amongst others. As long as the USA President, Barack Obama continues to rule in a manner and support a regime that undermines the Freedom Charter of South Africa, his presence on South African soil is unwelcomed and an insult to the very people still recovering from the wounds of apartheid South Africa.

Statement issued by Yusuf Talia, President and Sumayya Omar, Political Officer of the Muslim Students’ Association Union (MSA Union)

Yusuf Talia: / 071-677-2391
Sumayya Omar: / 076-331-5299